NewsMar 23, 2020

Living up to climate promises

From the air, things can seem different. Perspectives can change. In B.C., we enjoy blue skies, clean air and low carbon emissions. In other parts of the world, flying over a city that relies on coal-fired power for electricity or industrial and residential heating offers another experience.

Many of the world’s fastest growing, most populous and carbon-intensive urban centres struggle with severe air pollution. That’s why countries such as China are transitioning from coal to cleaner natural gas.

China’s shift from coal is being driven primarily by its air pollution crisis. Researchers estimate that 1.6 million people die each year in China from heart, lung and stroke problems due to air pollution. It should come as no surprise, then, that the International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts that renewable energy demand in that country will more than quadruple.

Meanwhile, natural gas demand will triple by 2040. Natural gas is already being used to complement China’s emerging renewable energy sector, and is increasingly being used in Chinese factories and for district heating. It’s far cleaner burning than coal, and ideal in the transition to a lower carbon future.

According to the IEA’s latest World Energy Outlook, 80 per cent more natural gas will be required over the next 20 years in China, India and Southeast Asia in order to displace higher carbon-producing coal.

Research conducted for LNG Canada demonstrates that our own liquified natural gas exports to China will emit approximately 35 per cent to 55 per cent fewer greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than China’s prevailing energy source – domestic coal. The largest GHG reductions realized in China from Canadian LNG will come from displacing coal in residential heating (56 per cent), followed by electricity generation (52 per cent), and industrial heat generation (36 per cent).

While LNG Canada won’t satisfy all of the world’s growing demand for natural gas, it will supply the cleanest. But reducing emissions overseas is not enough. LNG Canada must also live up to climate promises at home. That means working with our Joint Venture Partners to ensure our natural gas supply chain – from well-head to tidewater – has the smallest amount of greenhouse gas emissions possible.

GHG emissions from LNG Canada’s Kitimat operation will be lower than any facility currently operating anywhere in the world today: 35 per cent lower than the world’s best performing facilities and 60 per cent lower than the global weighted average. LNG Canada will use B.C. natural gas that’s produced and compressed using renewable electricity from the BC Hydro grid. Energy-efficient gas turbines and the latest methane mitigation technologies will also help us reach our low-emissions standards.

It’s also important that our governments develop policies to further incentivize decarbonization through new technologies, such as carbon capture, utilization and storage, and nature-based solutions including forest management and tidal wetlands restoration. These solutions both provide new opportunities for Indigenous communities and businesses.

At LNG Canada, we understand we must think globally and act locally. We’ve worked hard with our stakeholders, including our Indigenous partners and our northern communities, to get to where we are in our development, and we continue to look for new opportunities to make a positive difference. We are excited about the opportunity to develop the cleanest LNG in the world, and deliver economic opportunities for British Columbia and Canada – all while working together to meet our provincial and federal climate goals.

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