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Press release  •  3 min

Organizations call on BC governement to abandon fracking and LNG plans

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VANCOUVER / UNCEDED xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh AND səlilwətaɬ TERRITORIES — Climate groups from all over the world published an open letter today calling on B.C. Premier David Eby to reject new liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, stop issuing permits for fracking wells and develop plans to phase out gas extraction in the province.

“B.C. is one of the few places on Earth building a brand new fossil fuel industry even as climate disasters wreak havoc on our communities and ecosystems,” said Wilderness Committee Climate Campaigner Peter McCartney. “Today, the climate movement — from grassroots groups across the province to established national organizations to international allies in the U.S., Asia and Europe — are calling on Premier Eby to align with the global effort to salvage a safe climate and abandon plans for a massive expansion of fracking and LNG.”

Several of the groups are based in the countries the provincial government and the gas industry are hoping to sell LNG like Japan, South Korea and Indonesia. They say gas from B.C. will only slow down the energy transition in Asia.

"Governments and companies pouring more money into fossil gas infrastructure on both sides of the Pacific are literally sucking the wind out of renewables and delaying decarbonization efforts,” said Ayumi Fukakusa, Deputy Executive Director of Friends of the Earth Japan. “If B.C. goes further along the LNG path, it just makes it harder for Japan and other Asian countries to do the right thing."

Economic modelling from the International Energy Agency (IEA) shows global demand for LNG falling two per cent a year until 2030 and eight per cent annually afterwards if the world delivers on plans to reach net-zero emissions by mid-century.

“Canada's LNG exports are ringing alarm bells across Asia as climate experts there warn about prolonging a dangerous reliance on B.C.'s fossil gas," said Oil and Gas Programs Director Sven Biggs. “It's utterly irresponsible fiscally and socially to export our emissions to countries which are already feeling the devastating effects of the climate crisis."

In the letter, the groups highlight concerns about the LNG industry raising the cost of living for British Columbians as it has in the United States and Australia. Higher utility bills for gas and hydro could result from growing exports of gas, and plans to electrify LNG terminals.

“More LNG means higher bills for Fortis customers and BC Hydro ratepayers,” said Dogwood Communications Director Kai Nagata. “People are already choosing between groceries and paying their utility bills. Raising those costs to boost oil and gas company profits is just wrong.”

Frack Free BC is a broad-based alliance of organizations and individuals working to end fracking, with a steering committee led by Dogwood, and the Wilderness Committee. Friends of the Earth Japan, Solutions for Our Climate from South Korea, Indonesia’s People’s Coalition for the Rights to Water, Safety Before LNG in Ireland and a dozen groups across the United States of America including Oil Change International are among the global signatories to the letter.

More quotes from signatories:

Andréanne Brazeau, climate policy analyst at Équiterre in Quebec:

"B.C. has a backwards way of looking at the energy transition. Instead of doubling down on costly and dangerous fossil gas infrastructure, it should look to Quebec for inspiration. Our government — which is far from being considered a climate champion — rejected the mega GNL Québec fossil gas project and legislated against any future fossil fuel exploration and development in the province because of pressure from citizens and civil society. B.C. must also start heading in that direction."

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President of the Union of BC Indian Chiefs:

“Continuing with the development of LNG terminals, the permitting of LNG projects and the continuation of fracking while in the midst of the devastating climate emergency is irresponsible and destructive. Premier Eby needs to move away from this industry and put the climate and environment first.”

Dongjae Oh, Oil and Gas Program Director at Solutions for Our Climate in South Korea:

"If Canada is betting on South Korea's LNG demand, it's betting on the wrong future. South Korea aims to ramp down its use of LNG to nine per cent by 2036 to meet its climate goals, and we're already facing an oversupply of LNG. The Government of British Columbia will be left with massive stranded assets if it continues subsidizing billions of dollars for the fossil fuel industry. We stand with the people of Canada and urge the government to shift its investments to clean and affordable energy, such as solar and wind, that will benefit communities in both Canada and Asia."

Larry Barzelai, Chair of BC Chapter, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment:

“As scientists around the world continue to call methane a major threat to a stable climate, the provincial government is approving one LNG project after another. Extreme heat has caused hundreds of deaths in B.C. Emergency rooms have seen influxes of people suffering from asthma exacerbations and heart disease due to the increasing number of forest fires in B.C. Increased LNG activity is only exacerbating these health concerns. Many studies have shown that young people are despairing of their future, because governments are doing too little to counteract climate change. When it comes to LNG, the provincial government is on the wrong side of history and it needs to change direction.”

Media contacts:

Peter McCartney, Climate Campaigner, Wilderness Committee