As Justin Trudeau prepares to meet with the premiers in early December to finalize a pan-Canadian climate plan, a key contradiction remains in the Liberal's framework for a low-carbon economy. Namely, that the government's steadfast commitment to expanding fossil fuel exports is fundamentally antithetical to real action on climate change.
Building a high performance, low carbon economy is a major economic opportunity and a vital environmental responsibility for Canada. As a diverse group of leaders from different sectors and regions across the country, we applaud your initiative in developing the Pan-Canadian Framework for Clean Growth and Climate Change.
How you feel about this decision depends on how you felt about the target was in the first place. The Harper target is a 30 per cent reduction in Canada's greenhouse gas emissions below 2005 levels by 2030. That works out to eliminating 208 million tons of carbon over the next 14 years. Is that ambitious? Maybe not, if you think Canada's goals should be judged by what our peers are doing.
If consumers in Asia use British Columbian LNG, the global emissions will be 20 per cent lower than LNG from our competitors. If this LNG replaces coal, the global benefit is even greater as it will produce less than half the emissions of a comparable coal plant. In both cases, B.C. LNG is better for the planet than the alternatives.