Vancouver, B.C. - The Business Council of British Columbia today welcomes news of a Fiscal Framework Agreement between the Province of B.C. and LNG Canada. The completion of this agreement signals an important step towards the realization of a major LNG project in the province and the largest infrastructure project in Canada’s history – a project that promises to generate lasting economic benefits for all British Columbians.
“Our province’s vast supply of natural gas is a collective, natural asset belonging to all British Columbians,” said Greg D’Avignon, President and Chief Executive Officer, Business Council of British Columbia. “We have the potential, through LNG, to unlock this asset, increase its value for our province and deliver it to global markets. This will create new jobs in B.C., strengthen our economy and generate billions of new government revenues over time, while also contributing to the reduction of global carbon emissions.”
British Columbia and Canada’s economic foundation rests on the ability to develop and add value to energy and other natural resources and export them to countries around the world. As a result, British Columbians enjoy among the highest standards of living. Today, we continue to be one of the world’s most sustainable and reliable suppliers of relatively low carbon minerals, forestry products, pulp and paper, agri-food, metals and energy. The LNG opportunity enables the next generation to build on this legacy, provide high quality public services, create sustainable employment and address affordability.
“Canada contributes less than 2% of world-wide greenhouse gas emissions, and would continue to do so even with a major LNG project online,” said D’Avignon. “Climate change is a global challenge and must be approached with global solutions. B.C. can be a positive contributor to the long-term shift to a lower carbon global economy by developing and selling our energy and other natural resource products, including LNG. By leveraging our expertise in renewable energy and innovative natural gas extraction, British Columbia has an opportunity to make an impact in high emission jurisdictions looking to transition to cleaner energy and input options.”
British Columbia’s LNG would be the cleanest, lowest carbon intensive natural gas available in the world. Our province, with 98% of its electricity derived from renewable sources, is in a position to produce lower-carbon resource and manufactured products, including in the natural gas sector. This energy advantage, combined with shorter shipping routes to Asia, means British Columbia can displace the use of higher carbon intensive fossil fuels in emerging economies, and do so with a smaller carbon footprint than other global suppliers of LNG. This comes at a time when the International Energy Agency projects that global demand for LNG will increase by 45% through 2040.
“Today’s announcement also underscores the importance of regulatory certainty and clarity, market access and fiscal incentives when competing to attract investment to British Columbia, regardless of the industry,” said D’Avignon. “These factors play into the decision-making processes of not only LNG companies, but for businesses and investors of all sizes, both local and international. Regulatory complexities, uncertain timelines and new taxes and fees are placing increasing pressure on industry in B.C. and Canada. Policy makers need to take a holistic look at the cumulative impact of these developments on the overall investment climate and the long-term prosperity of the province.”
British Columbia and Canada have an opportunity to create a realistic low-carbon energy and climate strategy which takes into account global realities, supports economic reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples, and leverages innovative policies and local assets in natural resources, energy and technology. We can use these exports to invest in innovations that would reduce local emissions in our built environment and transportation sectors. Limiting access to global markets for Canadian products puts at risk a national climate strategy and our country’s overall economic health. The Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project will also enable such access, as well as expand resource sector investment for the benefit of Canadians.
The Business Council looks forward to the anticipated final investment decision from LNG Canada and the potential, significant, economic opportunity this project and sector represents for the B.C. economy and the people of our province.
Cheryl Maitland Muir
cheryl.muir [at] bcbc.com