Al Gore’s climate group criticizes B.C. LNG

Clean Capital

Originally published in Clean Capital.


Al Gore’s climate group criticizes B.C. LNG

By Jenny Tan

February 25, 2016


The head of a climate advocacy group led by former U.S. vice-president Al Gore is calling for B.C. to abandon its plans for a liquefied natural gas industry.

The call comes just weeks after B.C. Premier Christy Clark acknowledged that none of the LNG commitments she made during her 2013 campaign has been realized.

Relying on LNG for revenue is “risky”, Ken Berlin, CEO of the Climate Reality Project, told the Vancouver Sun. “Natural gas is playing an important role in replacing coal, but it is still a fossil fuel. I think you are going to see, certainly in 10 years and more likely in three to five years, solar and wind being more competitive than natural gas. And then what do you do?

“I would say to do that would be very, very risky for the province.”

After a TED talk on Thursday in Vancouver, Al Gore suggested the top eight countries where climate efforts should be focused are China, India, the U.S., Canada, Brazil, the Philippines, South Africa and Australia.

“If you are going to do kung-fu or ju-jitsu on climate, those are the eight target zones where you are going to maximize your efforts,” Gore told a private lunch audience after last week’s TED talk, as reported by the Sun.

Premier Christy Clark campaigned in 2013 on a sizeable economic boost to B.C. from LNG revenue. She promised to settle all of B.C.’s debts with LNG revenue, start a $100-billion ‘prosperity fund’, and create 100,000 new jobs in LNG.

So far, the government has received no money from LNG and no construction of any LNG facility has been confirmed.

“Success isn’t for quitters,” Clark told the CBC.  “In order to succeed in this tough economy, we need to stick with it.”

However, Clark admitted that “with oil at 30 bucks, it is very unstable times.”

B.C. Finance Minister Mike de Jong noted the province is not likely to see LNG revenue until at least 2018. Companies are also unsure of the industry’s future. Recently, Royal Dutch Shell postponed its $50-billion investment in an LNG development in Kitimat.

It’s been a tough year for the industry, executive director of Energy Services B.C. Art Jarvis told the CBC. “We’re pretty concerned here about the future — the near future and the long future.”

Photo Credit: Steve Jurvetson

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Obama to double funding for clean energy R&D

Clean Capital

Originally published in Clean Capital.

By Jenny Tan

February 11, 2016


Obama has included a doubling of funding for clean energy research and development in his federal budget sent to Congress on Tuesday.

He plans to increase funding by 15 per cent each year from $6.4 billion in 2015 to $12.8 billion in 2020, according to a White House press release.

In his latest weekly address, President Obama noted the funding will “help the private sector create more jobs faster, lower the cost of clean energy faster, and help clean, renewable power out-compete dirty fuels in every state”.

But the Republican-controlled House of Representatives and Senate are unlikely to support the budget, suggests Bloomberg Politics, even though Obama noted that “many [Republican representatives] realise that clean energy is an incredible source of good-paying jobs for their constituents.”

Canada is also making plans to increase its clean energy funding. At the COP21 climate conference in Paris last December, the federal government pledged to invest $300 million each year in clean energy production, in research and development, and to support “the use of clean technologies in the natural resources sector.”

The funding increases are part of an agreement reached in Paris by 20 countries, including the United States and Canada, and private investors like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg. The Mission Innovation global partnership aims to “double government investment over the next five years in clean energy research and development, and to spur private sector investment in clean technology,” according to a press release from the Prime Minister’s Office.

According to Clean Energy Canada, investment in clean energy by provincial governments reached $10.7 billion in 2014, up from $5.8 billion in 2013.

The United Nations also calls for a doubling of investment in clean energy. According toBloomberg New Energy Finance, a record-breaking $329 billion worldwide was invested in clean energy in 2015, beating the previous record set in 2011 of $315.9 billion. However, the transition to clean energy is still not fast enough, says UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon. “I challenge investors to double – at a minimum – their clean energy investments by 2020,” Ban told investors last month, as reported by the Guardian.

Photo Credit: EricaJoy

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