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    BC First Nations in LNG MOU

Summary

Plan to develop three-party climate policy framework for Canada

by: Dale Lunan

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BC First Nations in LNG MOU

Four First Nations with traditional territories along BC’s north coast – heart of Canada’s emerging LNG export industry – signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) October 9 aimed at ensuring the benefits of their province’s “green” LNG are shared around the world.

The MOU was signed by leaders of the Lax Kw’alaams, Metlakatla, Nisga’a and Haisla (on who’s traditional territory the 40mn mt/yr LNG Canada project is being built) First Nations, who also announced the creation of the Northwest Coast First Nations Collaborative Climate Initiative.

The MOU outlines how the four Nations will collaborate on achieving a shared vision of implementing a joint First Nations, provincial and federal climate policy framework that maximises Canada’s impact on the global reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions while also meeting BC’s CleanBC policy and the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.

“Our Nations are committed to working collaboratively with each other, with federal and provincial governments, with other First Nations, with energy project developers and with environmental organizations to get the policy framework right and to help plan and construct the electrification infrastructure to deliver new sources of renewable electricity to the region,” Lax Kw’alaams mayor John Helin said.

The signatories said all climate policies should have, as a major focus, the displacement of coal-fired generation in the most polluting jurisdictions in the world with gas products from BC – considered to have the lowest carbon footprint of any produced gas in the world.

“We could eliminate more than all the GHGs produced in BC in one year (64mn metric tons) if we used the gas from a single electrified medium-to-large LNG plant to replace coal-fired generation in Asia,” Haisla chief councilor Crystal Smith said. “We are very pleased to know that this kind of displacement is a key objective of Shell’s LNG Canada project: the world needs more of this and so do our communities.” 

Additionally, the signatories believe that some form of credit for global GHG emission reductions should be transferred to Canada through the use of internationally transferable mitigation outcomes – or ITMOs – which were discussed, but not finalised, under Article 6 of the Paris Accord. Article 6 is expected to be a key point of discussion at COP 25, scheduled for Santiago, Chile in early December.

“The reality is that Canada can make a much greater impact on climate change by displacing coal with BC LNG in Japan and China than we could if new LNG projects weren’t to proceed,” Metlakatla chief councilor Harold Leighton said.