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  • 2019 Federal Budget Analysis February 27, 2019
    Watch this space for response and analysis of the federal budget from CCPA staff and our Alternative Federal Budget partners. More information will be added as it is available. Commentary and Analysis  Aim high, spend low: Federal budget 2019 by David MacDonald (CCPA) Budget 2019 fiddles while climate crisis looms by Hadrian Mertins-Kirkwood (CCPA) Organizational Responses Canadian Centre for Policy […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Boots Riley in Winnipeg May 11 February 22, 2019
    Founder of the political Hip-Hop group The Coup, Boots Riley is a musician, rapper, writer and activist, whose feature film directorial and screenwriting debut — 2018’s celebrated Sorry to Bother You — received the award for Best First Feature at the 2019 Independent Spirit Awards (amongst several other accolades and recognitions). "[A] reflection of the […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • CCPA-BC welcomes Emira Mears as new Associate Director February 11, 2019
    This week the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives – BC Office is pleased to welcome Emira Mears to our staff team as our newly appointed Associate Director. Emira is an accomplished communications professional, digital strategist and entrepreneur. Through her former company Raised Eyebrow, she has had the opportunity to work with many organizations in the […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Study explores media coverage of pipeline controversies December 14, 2018
    Supporters of fossil fuel infrastructure projects position themselves as friends of working people, framing climate action as antithetical to the more immediately pressing need to protect oil and gas workers’ livelihoods. And as the latest report from the CCPA-BC and Corporate Mapping Project confirms, this framing has become dominant across the media landscape. Focusing on pipeline […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  • Study highlights ‘uncomfortable truth’ about racism in the job market December 12, 2018
    "Racialized workers in Ontario are significantly more likely to be concentrated in low-wage jobs and face persistent unemployment and earnings gaps compared to white employees — pointing to the “uncomfortable truth” about racism in the job market, according to a new study." Read the Toronto Star's coverage of our updated colour-coded labour market report, released […]
    Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
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The Progressive Economics Forum

BC’s GHG emissions shell game

The BC government recently announced a new climate action of some consequence: the phasing out of the Burrard Thermal plant in Metro Vancouver. The unit was used largely for back-up purposes, producing electricity for BC Hydro to supplement hydropower during times of high demand. But at a large GHG cost per unit of energy — about 351 kilotonnes of CO2 equivalent (CO2e) were emitted from Burrard Thermal in 2006, making it the 13th largest emitter in BC.

To put that in perspective, the top emitter in BC as of 2006 was the Fort Nelson gas plant, with 1.25 megatonnes of CO2e, about four times the size of Burrard Thermal. Spectra Energy, who own the Fort Nelson plant is, however, planning a carbon capture and storage operation that will nab, if all goes according to plan, 2 Mt per year when implemented (the industry is growing so stats from 2006 understate current emissions). This is not without its problems, but give them credit for trying.

Still in the Northeast, EnCana has proposed a new oil and gas production super-facility that will emit 2.2 Mt per year, with no CCS, making it the largest point source emitter in the province. The project is current under “environmental assessment” and was criticized by the Pembina Institute for GHGs not being considered in the assessment.

So the Burrard Thermal announcement garnering a lot of media coverage will shutter a fraction of the expected increase from EnCana. In fact, EnCana’s 2.2 Mt are equivalent to all of the emissions from cement and aluminum production combined. This is why I’m getting cynical about climate action in BC.

Here’s an idea: BC should impose an immediate moratorium on all new oil and gas development — unless accompanied by carbon capture and storage, and some time between 2020 and 2030 (I’m willing to negotiate) all existing projects would have to implement CCS. This will be bad news for investors in the Northeast, because CCS ain’t cheap, but hey, those investments are threatening human civilization as we know it, and we all have to do our part.

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