Forgone fossil fuels

2021-07-24

in Canada, Economics, Politics, The environment

Back in 2012, Justin Trudeau said that “there’s not a country in the world that would find 170 billion barrels of oil under the ground and leave them there.”

At an event in June organized by Bank of America, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman supposedly said: “We are still going to be the last man standing, and every molecule of hydrocarbon will come out.”

Since avoiding catastrophic climate change is chiefly a problem of prompt global fossil fuel abolition, such sentiments are positively frightening. Trudeau’s cynicism may not be entirely justified, however, as there are examples of government choosing not to develop fossil energy, either out of innate concern about climate change or because they expect such industries to be in decline as the world decarbonizes.

For example, Greenland has banned oil exploration and Quebec’s government rejected a $14 billion LNG export project.

A few examples don’t make a trend, and enormous investments in fossil fuels continue to be made. At the same time, every noble example provides a case that can be raised with politicians who say action is impossible or that nobody will do it. If countries like Canada which have become rich on a high-carbon trajectory and which maintain excessively high per capita emissions continue to refuse to decarbonize we perpetuate a global suicide pact in which we all end up with ruin because each jurisdiction scrambled to pull in as much fossil cash as possible beforehand.

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. July 24, 2021 at 4:48 pm

Quebec rejects $14B natural gas project in Saguenay over environmental issues

Quebec rejects $9-billion LNG export project, citing environmental concerns

Project would discourage global transition toward cleaner energy sources, Quebec environment minister said

. July 25, 2021 at 1:08 pm

With Quebec rejecting a $14B LNG project, is the industry at a dead end in Canada?

Quebec’s environment minister recently cited environmental concerns as the reason to axe a proposed multibillion-dollar LNG project, but a glut of natural gas around the world is pushing some to ask if the industry is a dead end for Canada.

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