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

Mackenzie Ashley-Lynn Gilfillan was last seen Jan. 10 in the 45000-block of Menholm Road. (RCMP photo)
RCMP asking for help to find missing Chilliwack woman

Mackenzie Ashley-Lynn Gilfillan was last seen Jan. 10 in the 45000-block of Menholm Road

Chilliwack Chiefs
Chilliwack Chiefs acquire forward Ben Woodhouse from Wellington Dukes

The BCHL club swapped future considerations to the Dukes for the 20-year-old forward

Two vehicle incidents eastbound on the Trans Canada Highway have been reported in Langley. (Google photo)
TRAFFIC: Two separate vehicle crashes on Highway 1 in Langley, one person taken to hospital

University Drive is closed between 216th Street and Glover Road

An Abbotsford man was killed in a motor vehicle accident on Highway 3 on Monday, Jan. 18. (Black Press file photo)
Abbotsford man killed in Highway 3 crash near Hedley

Fatality was discovered by passing tow truck driver

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

Health-care workers wait in line at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians who have had COVID-19 should still get the vaccine, experts say

Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines were found to have a 95 per cent efficacy

An empty Peel and Sainte-Catherine street is shown in Montreal, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Poll finds strong support for COVID-19 curfews despite doubts about effectiveness

The poll suggests 59 per cent remain somewhat or very afraid of contracting COVID-19

(Realtor.ca)
Rent dropped to 2019 rates across parts of Metro Vancouver in December: Rentals.ca report

Rent costs have declined since May, a trend expected to continue due in part to the COVID pandemic

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Most Read