Ok, I’ve been avoiding doing a thread on #LNGCanada but I feel that it’s my duty as a climate hawk to try to address some unfounded concerns /1 #bcpoli #cdnpoli
I’ll start with a hot take. #LNGCanada is not only consistent with our carbon mitigation goals, it is *needed* if we are area to reduce GHG emissions to minimize a global temperature increase of 2 degrees /2
To understand this point, we first need step outside of our provincial mindsets: the most critical immediate global action to lower warming is substituting coal consumption in emerging economies /3
How can we do this? Luckily the @IEA (who I used to work for – hi folks!) developed a Sustainable Development Scenario (SDS) last year to reduce GHGs consistent with 2 degrees of warming /4
What happens in the SDS? Natural gas has the largest share of energy consumption of any single source by 2040. /4
Gas consumption is especially important in China and India, which #LNGCanada is poised to serve. See the chart below. Gas consumption grows over 200% in China, 300% in India, but that’s not the kicker /5
See those green diamonds in the chart? Those represent the percent difference that gas consumption is higher than the New Policies Scenario – the @IEA ‘s reference case /6
In both China and India as they move to align their energy system with achieving 2 degrees, gas consumption goes up, in other words it becomes *more* important for the GHG reduction efforts /7
Digging in on this, it makes sense as per capita incomes in both countries are half (or less than) that OECD countries, there’s still a lot of pent-up energy demand that’s to come, how will it be met? /8
Right now the base case is a mix of coal and renewables in power, gas in building heating and coal/gas industry. We need to disabuse ourselves that gas is competing is renewables, not true. /9
Infact, the lower the cost of reneawbles get in China, the better the business case becomes to use higher-cost gas as teh backup as opposed to coal. Gas+Renewables are competing against coal, that's the dynamic. /10
Renewables are essentially pedal to the metal in both China and India in the SDS (I would argue you get into industrial capacity limitations). But this power needs back up of some type right now the choice is between either gas or coal to back it up. /11
Without gas, legacy coal clings on in that backup role for renewables meaning higher emissions. It’s important to understand that China needs *new* power now. There is no no carbon options right now. New renewables will need backup until/if cheap storage is a thing /12
And this says nothing about industry which quadruples gas consumption in the SDS. There are few options in Chinese industry, coal boilers or gas boilers. Most imported LNG will find its way to industry to reduce GHGs and critically air pollution.
In the chart above, new gas demand in power represents only a third of total gas demand growth, gas is needed in all sectors where the issue with renewables is not a factor. /13
So if we believe that NG is a needed solution in China then how does it get there? The @IEA projects that LNG will be the dominant supply. LNG imports takes up 40% of new gas demand in China. More than doubling current trade volumes. /14
I roughly estimated that LNG exports from North American would reduce about 400 Mt of GHG emissions in China. In BC’s sense LNG Canada would lead to a net global GHG reduction over 70 Mt, more than BC’s total emissions.
So while yes, LNG would increase GHG’s in BC by approximately 8 Mt, you would reduce global emissions by a factor of 9. This. Is. What. Matters. /16
The other very thorny issue is that of carbon leakage. If China needs this much LNG then the market will move to supply it. But where it comes from has impacts on global emissions too. BC has characteristics that leave one to conclude that BC lng would be the lowest carbon /17
BC is relatively close to China (compared to gulf coast the likely next closest competitor), has very ambitious carbon policies like the 0.16 tonnes CO2/per tonne LNG intensity benchmark, has a generally clean electricity system, and has some of the lowest carbon shale gas /18
If BC does not supply this LNG, then it will come from somewhere else, which will likely have characteristics that would mean it would be more carbon intensive and more GHG emissions ceteris paribus /19
So is this a slam dunk? No. #LNGCanada as a climate solution needs to demonstrate the it will be supply China with the majority of its supply. Further additional methane reduction efforts will solidify the emissions reductions gains. /20
Importantly, policies need to be in place between BC, Canada, China that are consistent with teh @IEA's Sustainable Development Scenario. But, because of the overwhelming need should any LNG find its way to China, it's almost certainly an unalloyed good. /21
And when someone says BC wont be able to meet its targets because of LNG kindly remind them that there’s more at stake than that. Fin. /22
I should not underplay this point, fugitive methane is the key to this all. Only if fugitive methane is significantly addressed can we say this is an unalloyed good. /23

In the SDS, fugitive methane must drop by 75%. The good news is that this is economical now. Captured methane can be resold and for new projects like LNG Canada the opportunity to be world leading on methane is there /24

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