With the province on fire, BC’s NDP government must change course now!

Yet again this summer, wildfires are ravaging Canada, dramatic new proof of climate change directly related to human economic activity – carbon emissions in particular. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that climate change is a threat to human well-being and planetary health, and there is a narrowing window of opportunity to secure a livable and sustainable future. Risks and projected adverse impacts and related losses and damages escalate with every increment of global warming, and “deep, rapid and sustained mitigation and accelerated implementation of adaptation actions in this decade would reduce projected losses and damages for humans and ecosystems.”

But instead of comprehensive action on this crisis, BC’s NDP government continues to support new fossil fuel infrastructure, while claiming it can still meet its emissions targets. While announcing plans to reduce emissions from the fossil fuel sector, the government approved the Cedar LNG plant, in contradiction to the International Energy Agency’s statement that “the global journey to net zero by 2050 includes no investment in new fossil fuel supply projects,” and despite the warning by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that “investing in new fossil fuels infrastructure is moral and economic madness.”

Just weeks before he was sworn in as premier, David Eby stated that “we cannot continue to expand fossil fuel infrastructure and hit our climate goals.” On the same day that Eby announced a plan to reduce climate pollution from LNG facilities, he simultaneously approved the Cedar LNG project. The Cedar plant will benefit from many incentives offered to the industry by the provincial government, including eliminating the LNG income tax, a lower price for BC Hydro electricity, exemption of the provincial sales tax on construction materials and a rebate on new carbon taxes.

Just as shameful, the NDP is using Cedar LNG plant partnership with the Haisla Nation as an opportunity to disguise the fact that they are creating new fossil fuel projects. Union of BC Indian Chiefs Grand Chief Stewart Phillip called this expansion of the LNG industry and associated fracking a frightening step.

The federal government has a long history of similar contradictions between rhetoric and actions. In June 2018, Parliament passed a resolution declaring a climate emergency, and the next day approved the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion (TMX), which ships bitumen from the Alberta tar sands for export to Asia. The federal government purchased TMX for $7.4 billion, a price tag which is now up to $30.9 billion.

British Columbians are subsidizing LNG carbon emissions, and Canadians own a pipeline that will never make a profit. Billions of dollars are transferred from ordinary Canadians to wealthy oil companies, while expanding fossil fuel production that results in climate chaos. The Communist Party’s BC Committee calls on the working class, Indigenous peoples and all concerned residents of this province to demand an immediate reversal of these dangerous, immoral, pro-corporate fossil fuel extraction policies – halt these projects and take real action to make reduction of carbon emissions our true priority.

BC Committee CPC

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