Environment Minister Catherine McKenna is shown at the COP22 conference in Marrakech, Morocco on Nov. 16, 2016. (Photo: Mosa'ab Elshamy/AP via CP)But while negotiating a national plan with the provinces and territories to cut greenhouse gas emissions, the Liberals have also approved a major liquefied natural gas project in British Columbia this fall and signalled their openness to new oil pipeline proposals. Environmental advocates attending this year's COP22 in Marrakech, Morocco, issued a release Wednesday calling out Canada's competing policy priorities. "It is a serious concern when we see the international community not honouring their commitments and we are concerned Canada is still pursuing their fossil fuel projects," Benson Ireri of Christian Aid Africa said in the release. "Developed countries have a moral obligation to honour the Paris Agreement."
'Stop all expansion of fossil fuels'
Jim Carr and Catherine McKenna at a press conference after the federal government announced approval of the Pacific NorthWest LNG project on Sept. 27. (Photo: Darryl Dyck/CP)But in September, the Liberal cabinet approved Malaysian-based Petronas's massive LNG project for northern B.C., which has clearance to pump 4.3 million tonnes of equivalent carbon dioxide annually into the atmosphere for decades. Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr has also said the Liberal cabinet will make a decision by mid-December on the proposed expansion of Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain oil pipeline from Alberta to Burnaby, B.C. The Liberals have long been on record supporting TransCanada's Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta to Gulf Coast refineries. The project was blocked by outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama. President-elect Donald Trump favours approval of the line and he'll have the backing of a Republican-controlled Congress and House of Representatives once he takes office in January.
Grits pressured on Keystone
'Contradiction'According to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, the additional 590,000 barrels of oil per day carried by a bigger Trans Mountain pipeline would add upstream GHG emissions of between 14-17 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year. To put those emissions in perspective, a report this week estimated the national floor price on carbon proposed by the prime minister will cut Canada's emissions by about 18 million tonnes a year when fully implemented in 2022. "Canada is on a pathway to reduce domestic emissions and meet the 2030 targets domestically while also increasing the amount of fossil fuels it exports," Catherine Abreu of Climate Action Network Canada said in a release from Marrakech. "This contradiction is not lost on the countries that are experiencing sea level rise, drought, increased storms and other climate impacts."
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