Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Advocates Call out Canada's Twin Pursuit of GHG Cuts, Fossil Fuel Expansion

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Advocates Call out Canada's Twin Pursuit of GHG Cuts, Fossil Fuel Expansion

Article excerpt

Green Canada can't expand fossil fuels: COP22


OTTAWA - The Liberal government's twin pursuits of expanded foreign markets for Canadian fossil fuels and global action on climate change are getting some unfavourable notice at an international climate summit in Morocco.

The newly elected Trudeau government made a big splash at last December's United Nations-sponsored COP21 in Paris by helping push aggressive global ambition in the battle against a warming planet.

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."

The Philippines-based Global Campaign to Demand Climate Justice also waded in, calling on Canada "to do the utmost that it can in domestic emissions reduction, to stop all expansion of fossil fuels, to do an immediate transition to renewable energy and deliver the finance necessary to keep the world from breaching 1.5 (degrees) Celsius," said spokeswoman Lidy Nacpil.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is set to meet his provincial and territorial counterparts in early December to finalize a pan-Canadian plan for cutting emissions 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. Trudeau has already laid down a marker with the imposition of an escalating $10 per tonne floor price on carbon emissions starting in 2018 and topping out at $50 in 2022.

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. …

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