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Real-world solutions for climate mitigation are all around us

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Cody Battershill

Look at any reputable poll about Canadian natural resources, their development and their trade with partners around the world. You’ll find a Canadian public that’s supportive, as well as a strong – but much smaller – opposition.

Our own polling has found again and again that Canadians feel passionately about their nation’s positive reputation for strong institutions, a skilled workforce, our continually evolving technological innovations and the fact we maintain the highest standards of environmental stewardship and human health and safety.

Earlier this year, we found more than four in five Canadians (81 per cent) said they’d rather use energy from Canada for their daily needs than rely on energy imports from other countries.

It goes a long way to explaining why there’s little surprise the $40-billion LNG Canada project in Kitimat has the support of 85 of the 87 MLAs in B.C.’s Legislature. One of the largest private sector investments in Canadian history, the Shell-led consortium is part of a trend that will allow Canada to displace more CO2-intensive fuels such as coal, burned increasingly in offshore markets.

I see this as an opportunity for Canadians to celebrate progress in emissions reductions. Specifically, LNG presents Canada with the potential to reduce CO2 emissions abroad and through transitioning our marine sector away from bunker crude and toward LNG. Why? Because LNG is a feasible, affordable, reliable opportunity to power vessels while it mitigates against climate change.

Some haven’t yet focussed on Canada’s praiseworthy role in climate mitigation. To those folks, I’d say this: Magic bullets are in short supply, but Canadian LNG as a replacement fuel to reduce coal use in China, India and elsewhere, may be one of those bullets.

The same goes for LNG as a replacement for bunker fuel for the marine fleet.

Canadians are learning they have a record worth honouring. Canada’s renewables rank sixth in the world, we’re in the process of building out our LNG industry just as the world has asked, and Indigenous People are key proponents and partners of the development. We also have a strong record for hydroelectric and nuclear power.

But there’s no doubt we need ‘all of the above.’ It’s a lesson we’ve learned with both the energy crisis and the affordability crisis. In times of crisis, let’s stick with concrete solutions. We simply can’t afford ‘pie in the sky’ wishful thinking that lacks technical rigor and the real-world ability to deliver.

When we insist on real options, good things happen. We end up balancing affordability for Canadians, energy security for our trading partners and allies, and energy access and emissions reduction for the developing world.

That’s a win for the climate, the economy, affordability and the Canadian family.

Cody Battershill is a Calgary realtor and founder / spokesperson for CanadaAction.ca, a volunteer-initiated group that supports Canadian energy development and the environmental, social and economic benefits that come with it.

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