Canada adds to alarming rise in global pipeline construction

While a new report is expected to reveal a massive increase in pipeline construction around the world, an analyst says Canada is running counter to public opinion and broader international trends by making the problem worse.

The global construction of the pipeline, documented by Global Energy Monitor (GEM) in an analysis to be released at midnight tonight, goes against the International Energy Agency’s call last year for no new oil, gas or coal projects keep average global warming at 1.5. °C. And it flouts the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s carbon budget analysis that shows global emissions must peak by 2025 to keep any hope of 1.5C alive.

Last week, a new database released by GEM and the Carbon Tracker Initiative showed that fossils around the world hold enough proven reserves of oil, gas and coal to “emit more global warming emissions.” planet than since the industrial revolution, easily blowing away the remaining carbon budget before societies were subjected to catastrophic global warming,” the Guardian reported. “You have governments issuing new coal licenses or permits that are completely decoupled from their own climate commitments,” said Carbon Tracker founder Mark Campanale.

And when it comes to pipelines, Canada is doing its part to make a dire situation worse, said Julia Levin, national climate policy manager at Environmental Defense Canada.

Even as the federal government seeks public comment on a new oil and gas emissions cap – with comments expected by Friday – “Canada is still investing heavily in new fossil fuel infrastructure that not only enables production continues, but the expansion of the sector”, Levin told The energy mix Last week. “New pipelines are simply fundamentally inconsistent with what we need to do to address the climate crisis, and we keep rolling in the opposite direction.”

With memories still fresh of last year’s devastating heat dome and flooding in British Columbia, and of Atlantic Canada beginning to pick up the pieces after Hurricane Fiona, the only possible conclusion is that “the government is determined failing to meet” its climate commitments, she said.

Levin cited the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion – a project whose budget “out of control” has reached C$21.4 billion, is on the verge of losing money, but is still receiving generous support from a federal government that bought it with taxpayers’ money – as the most obvious example.

“That has huge climate implications, over 90 megatons a year, the equivalent of 20 million cars or 24 coal-fired power plants,” Levin said. “It’s a carbon bomb we’re moving forward with, at a time when we know we can’t have new oil and gas projects.”

Levin added that the $26 billion Canada invested in Trans Mountain would have paid for all major solar and wind projects in the country between 2019 and 2021, or five times as much.

“We know that the energy transition is happening fast, that the demand for oil is going to drop drastically over the next decade,” she said. “It needs to come down 75% to make sure we have a planet we can survive and thrive on.”

And as demand dries up, “Canada is the second most carbon-intensive oil producer in the world, its oil is very expensive and we are the first to be left behind. The risk is therefore not only the climatic risk. The risk is that these projects become stranded assets even before they are built.

Levin pointed to two news stories last week – Vanuatu becoming the first country to approve the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty, and a new poll showing that nearly seven in 10 Canadians support an emissions cap on oil and carbon. gases – to assert that Canada needs the stability of a controlled phase-out of fossil fuels as the country’s main source of greenhouse gas emissions.

“We need a predictable path for communities, for workers, for industry, and this is the first time we have had a policy tool that will implement that path,” she said. An emissions cap “is a great opportunity to let us do the planning, and with that trajectory we can see which facilities need to be disconnected first.”

Levin was referring to an Abacus poll for Climate Action Network-Canada that showed 69% supported an emissions cap to “ensure the oil and gas industry takes its fair share of climate action”, with just 16 % at variance. The survey revealed support margins of 72% in British Columbia, 74% in Quebec, 77% in Atlantic Canada, 68% among those aged 18-29, 74% among seniors 60 and over and 81 to 88% among Liberal supporters. , NDP and Bloc Québécois, CAN-Rac said in a statement last week.

“Right now, oil and gas executives are raking in windfall profits, while families across Canada are struggling to make ends meet because of fossilflation,” said Caroline Brouillette, CAN’s national policy director. -Rac. “This industry is perfectly positioned to invest in reducing its emissions. For the industry to try to shirk its responsibilities and continue to pollute without limit is an insult to Canadians from coast to coast who are suffering damage from floods and wildfires, smoky air and heat exhaustion.

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