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

SIMPSON: The role of local government is changing

Mayor Bob Simpson outlines what mandate creep means for Quesnel

Researchers in B.C. say earlier than usual return of bats or dead bats can indicate trouble, such as signs of white-nose syndrome. (Cathy Koot photo)
Public help is essential for monitoring for bat disease

Anyone finding a dead bat is asked to report it to the BC Community Bat Program

In this Nov. 21, 2019 file photo, Tesla CEO Elon Musk introduces the Cybertruck at Tesla’s design studio in Hawthorne, Calif. The much-hyped unveil of Tesla’s electric pickup truck went off script Thursday night when supposedly unbreakable window glass shattered twice when hit with a large metal ball. The failed stunt, which ranks high on the list of embarrassing auto industry rollouts, came just after Musk bragged about the strength of “Tesla Armor Glass” on the wedge-shaped “Cybertruck.” (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu, File)
FOREST INK: Electric vehicles the future, not present of industry

Jim Hilton looks at where electric vehicles need to go

Cassidy Dankochik joined the Observer’s staff in Aug. of 2020 by way of Gimli, Altona, and Flin Flon, Manitoba. (Photo by Tracey Roberts)
EDITOR’S COLUMN: Optimism at council

Cassidy Dankochik enjoyed the news from the City of Quesnel’s most recent meeting

Sandi Griffiths is the region’s new district manager of transportation for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
New MOTI district manager takes the wheel in Williams Lake

Sandi Griffiths replaces Todd Hubner who retired recently

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. The federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate, start with the vaccination of police officers in internal police vaccination centers. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
B.C. officials to unveil new details of COVID vaccination plan Monday

Seniors and health-care workers who haven’t gotten their shot are next on the list

An investigation is underway after a man was shot and killed by Tofino RCMP in Opitsaht. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man shot and killed by RCMP near Tofino, police watchdog investigating

Investigation underway by Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia.

B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver on Tuesday December 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s compromise on in-person worship at three churches called ‘absolutely unacceptable’

Would allow outdoor services of 25 or less by Langley, Abbotsford and Chilliwack churches

Baldy Mountain Resort was shut down on Saturday after a fatal workplace accident. (Baldy Mountain picture)
Jasmine and Gwen Donaldson are part of the CAT team working to reduce stigma for marginalized groups in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror
Jasmine’s story: Stigma can be the hardest hurdle for those overcoming addiction

Recovering B.C. addict says welcome, connection and community key for rebuilding after drug habit

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Most Read