Little Attention to LNG in BC Green Plan
LNG developments attracted little attention in the BC government’s latest green plan update released December 5, but future projects – including a potential second phase of the Shell-led LNG Canada project at Kitimat – will still be expected to meet the province’s emissions targets.
The CleanBC plan, released by premier John Horgan, is mostly a collection of previously-announced policies aimed at reducing carbon emissions in the industrial, commercial, residential and transportation sectors. New commitments, however, include greater electrification of natural gas production fields in the northeastern part of the province and a 45% reduction in methane emissions from production activities by 2030.
Overall, the province is targeting a 20% reduction in fossil fuel use and a 60% increase in clean energy use by 2050.
The plan outlines initiatives aimed at reducing GHG emissions by 18.9mn metric tons – 75% of the way to its 2030 reduction target of 25mn metric tons. Reductions from industry would account for 8.4mn metric tons of the reduction set out in the plan, but will be expected to grow even more to achieve the 2030 target, a goal which could impact future LNG projects.
“One of the conditions for LNG development in BC is that it fits within the province’s climate commitments,” the plan says. “While LNG Canada is working to make its Kitimat facility the world’s cleanest in terms of GHG emissions intensity, the project could add up to 3.45mn metric tons of carbon emissions to the province’s total.”
The plan recognises that natural gas can be a “transitional fuel” towards a less carbon-intensive economy, and BC policies under the plan will encourage all industries in the province – including the LNG industry – to use the greenest technologies available.
“More reductions from LNG’s climate impact will be achieved through investments in electrification of upstream oil and gas production so extraction and processing are powered by electricity, instead of burning fossil fuels,” the plan says.
Electrifying production operations will reduce GHG emissions by 2.2mn mt by 2030, while increasing access to clean electricity for large operations with new transmission lines and improved connectivity to existing lines will cut emissions by 1.3mn metric tons by 2030, the plan says.