FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Fort St. John & District Chamber of Commerce is hosting a two-day conference on creating energy in the north, featuring keynote speaker Bryan Cox.
The president and CEO at Canadian LNG Alliance spoke about the work being done to grow Canada’s support of the LNG industry, as well as developing markets overseas where LNG would make a major environmental improvement.
Cox says a “yes, and” approach fosters engagement and discussion about how to empower multiple energy pathways.
“The fastest route to decarbonization is via the tools we have right now, and one of those tools is Canada’s low-emission LNG,” says Cox. “Yes, we must decarbonize, and we cannot do so at the expense of leaving others in energy poverty. We need to say yes, and to energy equality. Affordable, reliable, lower-carbon energy is essential for energy equality.”
Liquefied natural gas is an affordable source of low-carbon energy for developed and developing countries alike, and these countries choose LNG as a pathway to net-zero carbon emissions, says Cox.
“More than half of future LNG demand will come from countries with net-zero emission targets. Japan has pledged its support for LNG project financing because it sees LNG as a transitional energy source that can supplement renewables and as a feedstock for producing hydrogen.”
Other countries following suit include South Korea and China, which will look to move away from coal energy. One challenge with China is the fact that more than 25 per cent of the population does not have access to clean cooking fuels.
“Over 10 times the population of Canada doesn’t have access to clean cooking fuels, which greatly adds to both emissions and particulate matter in the air, massively impacting human health.”
Other nations making a push towards using LNG include India, Vietnam, and Thailand.
Cox says it’s not a choice between LNG and renewables.
“Both are needed, and both are complimentary. After all, it is the same clean electricity grid powered by hydroelectricity and renewables that powers B.C.’s lowest emission energy projects. So rather than either-or, let’s talk about yes, and. Let’s talk about renewables and LNG and hydrogen.”
LNG is a made in Canada industry developed in equal participation from First Nations, something Cox says Canadians should be proud of.
“Together with the LNG Canadian Alliance, the Conference Board of Canada put out a report last year that found sharing opportunities from LNG can increase Indigenous economic prosperity and help close the wage gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Canada.”
Cox points to the many benefits reported from the Heisler Nation, where LNG development has reduced poverty in the community by creating sustainable job opportunities.
“Canada cannot say yes to decarbonization without saying and, equal participation. This is vital to reconciliation.”
According to data from the Conference Board of Canada, growing the LNG industry in British Columbia could mean nearly 100,000 jobs per year across the country.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re in manufacturing, hospitality and tourism, or finance, in Toronto or Tofino, Vancouver or Vanderhoof, we all benefit from a growing economy.”
One point Cox reiterated in the question and answer period was the benefit the entire country can experience with the development of the LNG industry in British Columbia.
“I think that’s something that we don’t connect enough in Canada, is the importance of what happens in our natural resource industries here in B.C. and the west has a direct effect on all of Canada.”
The second keynote speaker at the Creating Energy – Northern Resources Conference is Susanna Pierce, Country Chair and GM Renewables & Energy Solutions for Shell Canada.
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