MORE GAS/LNG EXPORTS THE SOLUTION FOR ASIAN EMISSIONS?
Energi Media has begun interviewing experts for a story that has mostly slipped under the radar of the mainstream media: Alberta Premier Danielle Smith and the oil/gas industry want to significantly boost Canadian LNG (liquified natural gas) exports to Asia, especially China and Japan, as a strategy to lower Canada's greenhouse gas emissions.
In effect, they are arguing to produce more of a fossil fuel to combat a problem, global warming, caused by the combustion of fossil fuels. Sounds crazy, right? Perhaps not. There is some logic to the argument and the Canadian government seems to agree with Alberta, not something we see every day.
But this story is complex, with more questions than answers. You can watch the first interview, with Dr. Ramanan Krishnamoorti, Chief Energy Officer, University of Houston, who explains that under the Paris Agreement Canada can enter into agreements with other countries that would qualify for carbon credits if Canadian "clean LNG" displaced coal in power plants. Other experts disagree with Dr. Krishnamoorti, pointing out that "avoided emissions" don't qualify under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement.
Smith raises the prospect of more LNG exports at every opportunity. In a Feb. 17 letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau she wrote that "our Government is perplexed by the blatant exclusion of any federal strategy to aggressively increase LNG exports to obtain emissions credits (under international agreements) for replacing higher emitting fuels around the world with Canadian LNG while simultaneously driving economic growth in Alberta and Canada."
She goes on to argue that coal-displacing LNG exports, when combined with other cleantech, "will, by themselves, achieve Canada’s emissions reduction targets." This is an extraordinary claim, given that Canadian emissions now stand at 691 megatonnes per year. Nevertheless, Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson says Canada is looking at how to "operationalize" agreements with other countries that enable Smith's vision.
Energi Media will be reporting on this story over the coming months. Watch for expert interviews, columns, and podcasts.
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