Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs Call For Immediate Action

 

Gitanyow Lax’yip, April 2, 2024: In a bid to ensure thorough consideration of environmental impacts and uphold Indigenous rights, the Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs (GHC) have commissioned an expert report titled, ‘Ksi Lisims LNG and Associated Development: Review of Climate Impacts.’

Prepared by Dr. Chris Joseph of Swift Creek Consulting, this comprehensive review delves into various aspects of the proposed Ksi Lisims LNG project, highlighting critical concerns that demand immediate action.

Narrow Scope of Assessment: The review underscores deficiencies in the Ksi Lisims LNG project’s environmental assessment, particularly regarding the limited scope in evaluating climate impacts. It points out that the assessment fails to provide a comprehensive view of the project’s overall environmental footprint.

Underestimation of Climate Impacts: Concerns are raised about the likelihood of undervaluing the project’s climate impacts, with proposed mitigation strategies facing significant risks, including reliance on carbon offsets.

Policy Implications: The report emphasizes the need for robust policy frameworks to address climate impacts associated with the project. It stresses the importance of considering both upstream and downstream implications in decision-making
processes.

Evidentiary Basis and Climate Benefit: The review questions the credibility of the proponents’ climate impact information, casting doubt on the project’s purported global climate benefit. It suggests that the project may be inconsistent with climate targets and the Paris Agreement.

“The overall conclusion of this report is that there is no sound basis to expect the project to have a global climate benefit,” declared Joseph.

“The evidentiary basis for the project’s climate performance is weak, despite announcements and intentions with respect to electrification, carbon offsetting, and displacement of dirtier fuels in Asia. Thus, the project would appear to amount to throwing fuel on a fire that the world has stated it wants to put out.”

The Ksi Lisims LNG project proposes a floating LNG export facility at the mouth of the  Nass River to produce 12 million tonnes of LNG annually. The project requires a major new pipeline to send fracked methane gas from northeastern B.C. to the terminal, where it will be liquified and shipped to Asia.

The LNG terminal is inextricably linked to the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission (PRGT) pipeline, which is also highlighted as a significant concern in the report. The review emphasizes that the PRGT project’s 2014 environmental assessment application is  “outdated and in need of revisiting.”

PRGT has the potential to cross more than 50 kilometres of Gitanyow Lax’yip, including four Wilp (House Group) territories. In 2014, Gitanyow reviewed the PRGT, though at that time, the pipeline was intended to connect to a different LNG terminal on Lelu Island.

Much has changed in the last decade, new information on climate change and climate impacts from LNG development is available, and both federal and provincial governments have fully endorsed the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

“The B.C. government cannot continue to overlook the potential environmental and social impacts of this massive fossil fuel project,” says Simogyet Malii/Glen Williams.

“It’s imperative that our review’s findings are examined and that our call to pause Ksi Lisims’ environmental assessment is answered. Pushing this project through without conducting critical studies would be an irresponsible and dishonourable gamble with our future.”

In February of this year, the GHC challenged Ksi Lisims LNG to prove its greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction promises and called on the British Columbia Environmental Assessment Office to pause the project review. The chiefs urged that key studies be concluded before advancing the project.

The GHC detailed their concerns to Ksi Lisims LNG regarding potential impacts on salmon and highlighted the asymmetrical scoping of the project assessment. They stressed the importance of conducting a thorough evaluation encompassing upstream natural gas development, pipeline emissions, and hydroelectric development.

But last month, the B.C. NDP dismissed Gitanyow’s pleas to pause the project and refused to immediately participate in Gitanyow’s Wilp Sustainability Assessment Process (WSAP).

The Gitanyow WSAP was developed by the GHC in 2020 to parallel provincial and federal environmental assessment processes and to enact Gitanyow Ayookxw (Laws) in a modern context responding to cumulative impacts, climate change, and recognizing and upholding UNDRIP.

“This company and the provincial government both have blinders on when it comes to broad scale scope of climate impacts and other Indigenous people who are concerned about LNG,” said Naxginkw, Tara Marsden, Wilp Sustainability Director for the Gitanyow Hereditary Chiefs.

“They simply want to pretend the impacts are not real and that our voices do not matter, but we will not allow that to happen.”


Facts:

*The project proponents contend Ksi Lisims will have low GHG emissions, be “net zero” by 2030, and will be fully electrified (meaning the energy needed to super-cool the gas in order to liquefy it will come from B.C. Hydro’s electricity grid rather than from the burning of gas, as occurs in most other LNG facilities).

*The B.C. government and industry have long claimed that expanding liquefied natural gas from Canada can be a climate solution by displacing coal in Asia, but scientists argue that the full life cycle of LNG does not support claims of significant gains in switching from coal to gas.

*The main component of ‘natural’ gas is methane, a significantly more potent GHG than carbon dioxide, trapping up to 80 times more heat over a couple of decades despite its shorter lifespan. Emissions occur throughout the entire life cycle of LNG, from fracking and flaring to the liquefaction process and transportation.

*The project aims to produce 12 million tonnes of LNG per year. When 12 megatonnes of LNG is burned, it produces approximately 32 megatonnes of GHGs (using a widely accepted conversion rate of about 2.7). That is equivalent to more than half of British  Columbia’s total annual emissions.

*The Ksi Lisims project would lock in a huge expansion of fracking in B.C.’s northeast. The combined extraction and processing emissions would be approximately three megatonnes a year.

*The hydroelectric power needed to power Ksi Lisims would be equivalent to all the power produced by the soon-to-be-completed Site C dam, now millions of dollars over budget.

*
Clean Energy Canada warns the province that in order to meet its carbon budget, British Columbians could pay higher electricity bills to shoulder the burden of new power generation and transmission.

*Ksi Lisims’ “net zero” claim ignores the greenhouse gases that would be emitted when the LNG produced by the project reaches its destination and is burned, known as Scope 3 or downstream emissions. They do not count towards B.C.’s carbon pollution under global GHG accounting conventions, although they indisputably impact global carbon levels.

*B.C.’s climate plan commits to lowering GHG emissions by 40 percent by 2030. If Ksi Lisims LNG receives a greenlight, everything the province accomplishes to reduce carbon pollution will be undone – in global climatic terms – by this single project.

*Billions of dollars are being invested in the LNG industry, but these assets risk being stranded. Clean Energy Canada cautions that the potential surplus of LNG from British Columbia might not find sufficient demand, and even if there is a demand for more LNG in Asia, B.C. could face stiff competition from lower-cost producers elsewhere.

*The International Energy Agency holds that there is no need for investment in new fossil fuel supply in a world that reaches net zero by 2050.

*The U.N. found that global emissions need to fall 42 percent by 2030 to put the world on track to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2050 or by 28 percent to hold temperature increases to the 2 C targeted by the Paris Agreement.

 

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