A coal-fired power plant seen through dense smog from the window of an electric bullet train south of Beijing, December 2016. China has continued to increase thermal coal production and power generation, adding to greenhouse gas emissions that are already the world’s largest. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

A coal-fired power plant seen through dense smog from the window of an electric bullet train south of Beijing, December 2016. China has continued to increase thermal coal production and power generation, adding to greenhouse gas emissions that are already the world’s largest. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)

LNG featured at B.C. energy industry, climate change conference

Hydrogen, nuclear, carbon capture needed for Canada’s net-zero goal

Canada’s transition to “net zero” greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 includes not only B.C.’s liquefied natural gas exports, but Newfoundland’s offshore oil, Alberta’s oil sands and Ontario’s nuclear power, federal Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan says.

O’Regan kicked off an energy and climate conference in Vancouver Dec. 3 with an upbeat speech on the future of the Canadian oil and gas industry, battered as it is by world market slumps, COVID-19 and a flight of international investment capital from Canada.

“Canada cannot reach its climate goals without the oil and gas industry,” O’Regan said by video link from his office in St. John’s, Newfoundland, where the offshore oil industry is at a near standstill and construction of Husky Energy’s latest offshore platform is being kept alive with federal aid of $41.5 million announced this week.

Key to the net zero goal is B.C.’s LNG industry, led by the LNG Canada export facilities at Kitimat and the Coastal GasLink pipeline from northeast B.C.’s shale gas resources. Bryan Cox, CEO of the Canadian LNG Alliance, said LNG Canada’s plan to be the lowest-emitting producer in the world is getting international attention of investors.

Hosted by the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade and law firm Bennett Jones, the conference included Anna Stukas of Carbon Engineering, which has a direct air capture plant at the demonstration stage, pulling carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Stukas said the facility not only creates “negative emissions” to balance emitting activities such as oil and gas, the captured CO2 can be converted to lower-emission diesel and jet fuel. This is a way reduce emissions in truck and air transportation, two of the most difficult areas to make progress, she said.

RELATED: Horgan campaigns on carbon neutral B.C. by 2050

RELATED: Despite COVID-19, LNG Canada on track to start up

Doug Slater of FortisBC, the province’s main private electricity and gas provider, said his company is pursuing innovations such as compressed natural gas for transport trucks, LNG for shipping to replace diesel and bunker fuel, and applications for hydrogen fuel.

Fortis is putting $100 million a year into incentives for household retrofitting and high-efficiency appliances, an approach endorsed by O’Regan.

“I have become a convert of retrofitting homes and businesses,” he said, estimating that as much as 40 per cent of Canada’s commitments to the Paris climate agreement in 2016 can come from that strategy.

O’Regan acknowledged that investment has drained away from Canada, after years of international protest targeting Alberta’s oil sands and B.C.’s natural gas production. Canada became “a box to check” for big companies like Total, Shell and others to demonstrate to shareholders they are doing something about climate change, he said.

BC politicsClimate changeLNG

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A rainbow shining on Kelowna General Hospital on May 12, 2020 International Nurses Day. (Steve Wensley - Prime Light Media)
New COVID cases trending down in Interior Health

24 new cases reported Thursday, Feb. 25, death at Kelowna General Hospital

From left: Councillor Lucy Taylor, Councillor Barry Banford, Councillor Bill Haring, Mayor Merlin Blackwell, Councillor Lynne Frizzle, Councillor Lyle Mckenzie and Councillor Shelley Sim. (District of Clearwater photo)
Council to consider raising taxes in 2021

The District of Clearwater council is considering a tax increase this year… Continue reading

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson)
30 new COVID-19 cases, five more deaths in Interior Health

This brings the total number of cases to 7,271 since testing began

FILE – A COVID-19 vaccine being prepared. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
B.C. seniors 80 years and older to get COVID vaccine details over next 2 weeks: Henry

Province is expanding vaccine workforce as officials ramp up age-based rollout

Interior Health reported 43 new COVID-19 cases in the region Feb. 23, 2021 and no additional deaths. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
43 new cases of COVID reported in Interior Health

No new deaths, Williams Lake outbreak over

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

The missing camper heard a GSAR helicopter, and ran from his tree well waving his arms. File photo
Man trapped on Manning mountain did nearly everything right to survive: SAR

The winter experienced camper was overwhelmed by snow conditions

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

Vancouver International Women in Film Festival kicks off March 5.
Women in Film Festival features two B.C. filmmakers

The 16th annual festival kicks off March 5, 2021

The booklet roots present day activism in the history of racist policies, arguing the history must be acknowledged in order to change. (CCPA)
New resource dives into 150 years of racist policy in B.C.

Racist history must be acknowledged in order to change, authors say

Most Read