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LETTER: B.C. part of the climate-change problem

From reader Keith Wiley
Nelson, B.C. Photo: Bill Metcalfe

The last segment of its sixth big report on the climate crisis was released this month by the International Panel on Climate Change. It’s being framed in the media as “the last warning.”

United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres was typically strong in his remarks:

“This report is a clarion call to massively fast-track climate efforts by every country and every sector and on every timeframe. Our world needs climate action on all fronts: everything, everywhere, all at once.”

With so much business-as-usual, the world is now blowing past the 1.5 C safe limit on warming set by the Paris accord.

B.C. should be paying particular attention. Some highlights of the report’s top recommendations are extremely relevant here. While emissions overall must be reduced, the No. 1 on the list is methane. That’s natural gas, of course, and the Peace River Montney gas field has been named as the single biggest carbon bomb in the country. Reducing methane releases is the climate measure with the largest immediate impact.

But also this month, the B.C. government green-lit the new Cedar LNG plant that will put out three million tons a year of methane. And after years of talking about it, the province has no firm plan to tighten up all the leaks and releases along the methane supply chain.

Interestingly, the second top recommendation, stop deforestation, is also extremely relevant in a province that is eating away at the last bits of ancient old growth and clear-cutting forests steadily, including for wood pellet exports.

After he became NDP leader David Eby said the province couldn’t allow more fossil fuel projects and reach our climate targets. They have already since approved one LNG project and at least four more are on the drawing board. As citizens we can insist our government get on target.

Keith Wiley