B.C. Premier Christy Clark is prepared to alter her government’s strict climate-change targets to pave the way for her plan to create a liquefied natural gas industry in the province.
Ms. Clark is in Japan this week seeking investors and buyers for a string of proposed LNG plants on British Columbia’s north coast. In an interview before her departure, she said she expects legislated targets to reduce the province’s emissions will have to change.
The Premier’s jobs plan rests on three LNG plants being up and running by 2020. Creating LNG from natural gas is an energy-intensive process, and while Ms. Clark hopes those plants would run primarily on renewable energy, she acknowledged they will have to burn some natural gas.
Access to hydroelectric power is still the subject of talks between the province and various proponents. Ms. Clark suggested B.C. may amend its climate-change policy to take credit for greenhouse-gas reductions in other countries due to the use of B.C. energy products. “How that [policy] has to change will depend partly on the outcome of these negotiations,” she said. “So we’ll have to see what happens with some of those targets. We may start thinking more globally about this as a result of it.”
By law, British Columbia must cut its greenhouse-gas emissions by at least 33- per-cent below 2007 levels by the year 2020. It means total emissions are to be reduced to 45 million tonnes in 2020. A single LNG terminal and pipeline using fossil fuel for energy could put 3.4- million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere annually.
Ms. Clark said she is not abandoning the climate-change agenda set in place by former premier Gordon Campbell, but looking at it from a broader perspective.