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FNCI invites B.C. First Nations to discuss LNG and global warming

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LNG Industry,

The First Nations Climate Initiative (FNCI) has extended an invitation to all First Nations to meet with them on 29 January 2020 in Prince George to share their vision for a world where global warming is limited to 1.5oC, where Indigenous communities prosper and British Columbia (B.C.) leads the way to a low carbon economy that delivers on regional and international commitments to climate change targets.

The unique FNCI was formed in September 2019 by the leadership of the Haisla Nation, Lax Kw’alaams Band, Metlakatla First Nation and the Nisga’a Nation.

“We as leaders are collectively concerned about the significant threat posed by global climate change,” said Harold Leighton, Chief Councillor, Metlakatla First Nation. “The Nations see providing leadership on climate and development policies that impact their communities as placing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and reconciliation into action,” said Leighton.

FNCI has held collaborative information sessions with international and local climate change experts together with leaders from government, industry, academia and environmental groups and have drafted a potential scenario where B.C. produces net-zero LNG which does not add to emissions rather, meets or exceeds provincial GHG reduction targets. This scenario is consistent with provincial CleanBC objectives, the federal Pan-Canadian Framework, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change/International Energy Association scenarios that achieve sub-2oC warming of global average temperatures.

“Climate change is real and is being experienced by our people now,” said Haisla Chief Councillor Crystal Smith. “We have spent the last five months furthering our understanding of climate change as well as the full lifecycle of LNG. We heard from experts who confirmed that the internationally-recognised scenarios include natural gas as a transition fuel in order to achieve the international goal of keeping global warming below 2oC,” said Smith.

“Later this week, we will share what we have learned so far and present a draft scenario to First Nations leaders whose communities may be involved in natural gas production, natural gas pipelines or LNG facilities in their traditional territories for their consideration,” said Smith. “We encourage First Nations to join us and look forward to the 29 January session in Prince George.”

The draft scenario is designed on the basis of information gathered by FNCI with respect to the following considerations:

  • Whether LNG plays a legitimate role in the fight against climate change by switching fuel sources in the most polluting countries to cleaner energy sources like natural gas – thereby reducing GHGs entering the atmosphere.
  • How B.C. can produce LNG that does not add to provincial emissions and can be considered ‘net-zero LNG’, thus meeting provincial GHG reduction targets.
  • What the potential reduction in global GHGs is if net-zero LNG is used to displace thermal coal power generation in Asia (where there are policies to switch from coal to gas to reduce air pollution).
  • How much investment is needed in renewable energy infrastructure, ecosystem restoration and technological development, in order to produce net-zero LNG and where this investment could come from.
  • What the potential opportunities and benefits could be for First Nations communities, including: partnering in LNG infrastructure development; restoring the ecosystems in their traditional territories (which would act as carbon sinks); and building renewable energy generation and transmission infrastructure, which would result in net-zero LNG available as a global transition fuel as well as provide renewable energy for a future low carbon economy in B.C.
  • What provincial and federal policy options are needed to succeed in developing the vision to contribute to global efforts to achieve a 1.5oC limit on climate warming immediately and the eventual low carbon economy that supports a future carbon-neutral world.

“We want B.C. to fully meet its GHG reduction targets and we believe there is a scenario that can do so by 2030,” said Eva Clayton, Nisga’a Nation President. “By working collaboratively with Federal and Provincial Governments, other First Nations, energy project developers and environmental organisations we have a significant opportunity to help achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global warming below 2oC by using B.C. LNG to displace coal in the most polluting jurisdictions,” said Clayton.

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