People attending Premier David Eby’s cabinet swearing-in ceremony at Government House in Victoria Wednesday morning (Dec. 7) were welcomed by a display of fracking rigs and signs.
The demonstration was the work of a new alliance of environmental groups called Frack Free BC. They’re calling on the new premier to stop expanding fossil-fuel infrastructure and fracking in particular.
Sven Biggs, who protested with the group, said under the NDP’s current plan, fracking is set to double, making it impossible for the government to meet its climate change goals.
“We are here to welcome the new cabinet, who is being sworn in today and let them know if they want to meet their climate goals, they need to end fracking in British Columbia,” Biggs said.
It’s something Eby clearly touched on when outlining his agenda as incoming premier in October, saying B.C. cannot continue with fossil-fuel infrastructure if it intends to hit its emissions goals.
The province’s own 2022 Climate Change Accountability Report shows it is far from meeting its 2030 target of reducing climate-changing emissions by 40 per cent. Since 2007, B.C. has only reduced its net emissions by three per cent, according to the report.
The largest source of emissions is the burning of fossil fuels. According to Chevron Canada, 60 per cent of gas used by British Columbians has been extracted using fracking.
Frack Free BC is calling on Eby to stop issuing permits for fracking and set a date to phase out the industry. They’re particularly concerned about five proposals that would see new liquefied natural gas projects on the west coast of British Columbia.
“Many British Columbians might be surprised to know their province allows fracking for gas but the veil is coming off B.C.’s most polluting industry and a growing movement of people is coming together to prevent these LNG proposals from blowing our climate commitments,” said Peter McCartney, a climate campaigner with the Wilderness Committee, in a news release.
Fracking is a method of natural gas extraction that involves fluid to be injected into bedrock in order to allow natural gas to flow more freely.
Fracking has been linked to increased pollution, earthquakes and poisons water sources, Biggs said.