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

Saanich police officers were one group of dozens that submitted dance clips to the Greater Victoria Festival Society, to help create the Dance Across Victoria video montage. (Youtube/Screenshot)
WATCH: Saanich police, Victoria mayor bust some moves in new Dance Across Victoria video

Montage features submitted dance clips from across Greater Victoria

Saanich’s Malia Brodie competed in the Vancouver qualifiers for the 2020 National Championships. (Photo by BC Sport Karate Snaps)
PHOTOS: Saanich teen awarded $1,800 Karate Canada bursary to pursue officiant certification

Malia Brodie, 18, has black belt, nearly 15 years experience in karate

Former Oak Bay High Grade 12 student Brandon Kip plays the $100,000 Steinway piano in the Dave Dunnet Theatre. (Black Press Media file photo)
Oak Bay High Alumni Association passes torch to new president

The association has given back more than $70,000 in its 16 years

After more than a year, open forums will resume at a Saanich committee of the whole meeting on April 19 with up to five residents having the chance to speak for three minutes each about any district-related matter. (Black Press Media file photo)
Public input resumes at Saanich council following lengthy suspension due to pandemic

Up to five residents can present by phone for up to three minutes starting April 19

Sooke pickleball enthusiasts are rallying for funds to resurface the local outdoor courts. The group will come before council on April 13, where they will request for $7,000 towards the resurfacing project. (Photo from Sooke Pickleball Facebook page)
Sooke pickleball enthusiasts push for outdoor court resurfacing

Group to come before Sooke council April 13, asking for $7,000 grant

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during Question Period in the House of Commons Tuesday December 8, 2020 in Ottawa. The stage is set for arguably the most important federal budget in recent memory, as the Liberal government prepares to unveil its plan for Canada’s post-pandemic recovery even as a third wave of COVID-19 rages across the country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Election reticence expected to temper political battle over federal budget

Opposition parties have laid out their own demands in the weeks leading up to the budget

A syringe is loaded with COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to open up COVID vaccine registration to all B.C. residents 18+ in April

Registration does not equate to being able to book an appointment

Pat Kauwell, a semi-retired construction manager, lives in his fifth-wheel trailer on Maxey Road because that’s what he can afford on his pension, but a Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw prohibits using RVs as permanent dwellings, leaving Kauwell and others like him with few affordable housing options. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Rules against RV living hard on Island residents caught in housing crunch

Regional District of Nanaimo bylaw forcing pensioner to move RV he calls home off private farm land

(Black Press file photo).
UPDATED: Multiple stabbings at Vancouver Island bush party

Three youths hospitalized after an assault in Comox

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. finance minister to table historic pandemic-challenged deficit budget

Budget aims to take care of people during pandemic while preparing for post-COVID-19 recovery, Robinson said

Each spring, the Okanagan Fest-of-Ale is held in Penticton. This year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival will not be held. However, beer is still available. How much do you know about this beverage? (pxfuel.com)
QUIZ: How much do you really know about beer?

Put your knowledge to the test with this short quiz

Lord Tweedsmuir’s Tremmel States-Jones jumps a player and the goal line to score a touchdown against the Kelowna Owls in 2019. The face of high school football, along with a majority of other high school sports, could significantly change if a new governance proposal is passed at the B.C. School Sports AGM May 1. (Malin Jordan)
Power struggle: New governance model proposed for B.C. high school sports

Most commissions are against the new model, but B.C. School Sports (BCSS) and its board is in favour

Most Read