Natural Resources Minister: LNG Is a Key Factor in Canada Achieving Net-Zero Goal
Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan recently emphasized how significant British Columbia’s liquified natural gas (LNG) exports will be in achieving Canada’s net-zero goal by 2050, along with other sources of domestic energy production.
Minister O’Regan, who gave a virtual presentation during an energy and climate conference in Vancouver, said oil and natural gas are integral to the country’s emissions reduction strategy:
“Canada cannot reach its climate goals without the oil and gas industry.”
In addition to LNG in B.C., O’Regan stated all forms of energy production across the country will need to be leveraged in order to achieve Canada’s net-zero goal. In addition to LNG, O’Regan discussed how Newfoundland’s offshore oil project, Ontario’s nuclear facilities, and Alberta’s oil sands industry will be vital to driving down emissions across-the-board in Canada.
O’Regan also acknowledged the negative effects that targeted attacks on Canada’s energy have had, including reducing energy investments throughout the country.
The unilateral call of support for all of Canada’s energy industries to address climate change was a source of shock for some green activists who continue to speak out against fossil fuel production in the country.
Canada’s LNG industry poised to take off
In British Columbia, LNG Canada overcame several obstacles throughout the year to keep the ball rolling with the construction of its $18 billion dollar LNG project in Kitimat, B.C. The project, which will liquefy natural gas from northwest B.C., was the only infrastructure project to move ahead with construction this summer.
In order to meet labor demands for the project, LNG Canada devised a plan to bring 4,500 workers to continue work on the project by opening a large-scale working camp in Kitimat. Today, LNG Canada says key elements of the project are already underway, including advanced site preparation and dredging and construction of the marine terminal in Kitimat.
LNG Canada’s Director of Corporate Affairs Susannah Pierce says the project is on track to begin producing LNG by 2025:
“Despite certain impacts resulting from the COVID-19 virus, LNG Canada and our engineering procurement and construction contractor JGC Fluor JV continue to hit critical construction milestones. We remain committed to delivering first cargo by the middle of this decade.”
Once complete the project will not only bring about the environmental benefits mentioned by O’Regan but economic ones as well. Earlier this year the Conference Board of Canada (CBC) released a promising report on the economic benefits of ramping up LNG production throughout B.C. and other provinces. The CBC’s report found that based off a 56 million tonne per annum LNG production scenario, Canada’s GDP would increase $11 billion per year and create 96,550 new jobs in B.C. alone.
In order for Canada to achieve its ambitious net-zero emissions goal, the country must acknowledge and engage every sector of the energy industry. As the Natural Resources Minister insinuated, Canada will need to leverage and develop key aspects of the nation’s energy industry which continue to deliver on moving the Canadian economy forward and reducing overall emissions. Innovative projects, like LNG Canada, have already proven to do so.