Citizens for Public Justice fears that even the most ambitious climate action plan is now unlikely to overcome damage caused by pipelines.
CPJ is deeply saddened by the federal government’s approval of the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline and Line 3 replacement project. Prime Minister Trudeau’s failure to recognize the climate impacts of these massive projects flies in the face of Canada’s claims to climate leadership.
While we are grateful that the prime minister stopped short of approving the near-1200 kilometre Northern Gateway pipeline – acknowledging Indigenous and environmental concerns – science suggests that the climate impact of the two pipelines that have been approved will be staggering.
The lifecycle emissions associated with pipelines are critical. Oil extraction alone produces significant emissions. These are then magnified by refinement, transportation, and end use. The extraction emissions of Trans Mountain and Line 3 represent close to 25 megatons daily.
With the ratification and entry into force of the Paris Agreement, Canada committed to contribute to efforts to address climate change by limiting warming to ‘well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels’ and aspiring to 1.5°C. The government hopes to get us there by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. The approval of Trans Mountain and Line 3 makes it very difficult to see how Canada can live up to even this inadequate commitment.
The global climate crisis offers many opportunities in the area of clean, green jobs in renewable energy, energy efficiency, and public transportation. While we acknowledge that the transition towards renewables will not happen overnight, we had hoped that our federal government would prioritize in investments that create these jobs now, rather than building long-term emission-intensive infrastructure.