British Columbia can fulfill its commitment to produce liquefied natural gas (LNG) that is truly “world class” from a carbon-pollution perspective, but doing so will require strong leadership from both government and the gas industry.
That’s the conclusion of a new report from Clean Energy Canada at Tides Canada, The Cleanest LNG in the World? How to Slash Carbon Pollution From Wellhead to Waterline in British Columbia’s Proposed Liquefied Natural Gas Industry.
The report arrives as the Government of British Columbia negotiates with energy industry companies that would like to establish a series of LNG plants on the province’s coast.
It concludes that, without policy leadership, LNG produced in British Columbia would release more than three times the greenhouse gas emissions of that produced in current world-leading operations. As the report notes, the government has promised British Columbians that LNG produced in the proposed industry will be the “cleanest LNG produced anywhere in the world.”
The report finds that for every “off-the shelf” LNG project that proceeds, achieving the recommended emission reductions would be equivalent to avoiding the annual carbon pollution of two cities the size of Vancouver.
“If government intends to develop this new industry, it needs to ensure that it does so with the smallest possible impact on communities, other sectors, and ecosystems,” said Merran Smith, director of Clean Energy Canada at Tides Canada.
The finding is based not only on the emissions of the proposed LNG plants, but on the full carbon footprint of the commodity they would produce—from wellhead to waterline—given the government’s commitment to deliver LNG with “lower life cycle greenhouse gas emissions than anywhere else.”
This leadership gap can be closed, the report notes, if the government works with the energy industry to select a range of strategies and technologies proven to drive down carbon pollution all the way across the chain of LNG production.