Cullen returns from climate talks in Paris

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen returned to Canada after serving as the NDP environment critic in Paris

After one of the first worldwide, legally-binding climate change agreements was negotiated in Paris earlier in December, Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen returned to Canada after serving as the NDP environment critic, accompanying the government and premiers in France.

And while Cullen was happy to see progress made on a worldwide deal that would see the rise in global temperatures held to 2 degrees C or lower, he was less enthusiastic about the lack of specifics in Canada’s response to the deal.

“Canada has been playing a much more positive role than the previous government. Certainly there’s still a bunch of things still on the table not yet worked out,” he said.

“As well as having a hard target from Canada, there was a commitment from keeping the world heating up 1.5 degrees, but there’s no goal associated to it and that’s going to be really important – seeing a plan with the Government of Canada. We’re doing that with the provinces.”

In northwest B.C., the MP sees a plethora of options and strategies that could help contribute to Canada’s carbon capping efforts, including environmentally-friendly industry jobs found anywhere from Prince George to Prince Rupert.

“We’re going to have to find huge cuts to our pollution. If you break that down, where all the opportunity is, is the green-energy projects that we have across the region. Finding new funding, having a price on carbon across the country and having a goal for the country – that makes investment more likely,” he said.

“To create those green jobs … it’s getting rid of the threat of things like Northern Gateway [oil pipeline project] and [implementing] the tanker ban and then on the other side, taking advantage of Canada having to meet some commitments. That’s made by creating those new sources of energy and moving the economy.”

At the Paris climate conference, Cullen was in complete opposition to B.C. Premier Christy Clark and B.C. Minister of the Environment Mary Polak and their alleged asking for the LNG industry to be exempt from any budget for carbon.

“That’s a non-starter. To pretend that carbon produced from an LNG terminal is different than carbon produced from a tailpipe or a big factory or a coal plant – it’s still carbon. Canada has made some commitments to halt the amount of carbon coming out of our country and if they’re going to exempt LNG, then B.C.’s going to have to make up for it in huge ways somewhere else and I don’t think B.C. has a clue as to how that’s going to work … The principle that the polluter pays applies to everybody. There aren’t special polluters and less special polluters,” he said.

In an interview with Black Press’ Tom Fletcher, Premier Clark mentioned that the Liberal Government of Canada is backing B.C.’s LNG enthusiasm.

“The new government in Ottawa is a big supporter of our LNG plan and part of the reason for that is that they also see it as a way forward for Canada to make a huge contribution to fighting global climate change,” she said.

“LNG will be a source of emissions for Canada, but overall it’s going to be a big favour to the world.”

In discussing the highly volatile supply and demand market for oil and natural gas leading to pricing changes, Premier Clark mentioned that natural gas continues to be an alternative that places like the industrious east coast of China look to.

“The concern about climate change is going to rebalance the market for natural gas. I guess the other positive sign is that nobody has accurately predicted any of these changes, negative or positive, in the past. I’m not sure if what’s happening today would even predict the future. But I do know that countries are going to be looking to natural gas as the primary solution to the climate change issues they’re trying to resolve,” she said.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The property on which a residential school (pictured) that was torn down years ago in Lower Post is to be the location of a cultural centre. (Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre photo)
Lower Post residential school building to be demolished, replaced with cultural centre

Project to be funded by federal and provincial governments, Daylu Dena Council

The Cancer Care Unit at Prince Rupert Regional Hospital, April 14, will benefit from a $100,000 donation from Prince Rupert Port Authority towards renovations. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Prince Rupert Port Authority donates $100,000 to hospital renovations

Cancer Care Unit at PRRH to undergo upgradesat PRRH to undergo upgrades

Teresa Van sorts bottles at the April 10 Rainmakers Interact Club bottle drive to earn funds for six Seabin garbage collection units for harbours and waterfronts in the local region. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Bottle drive successful with more collected than can be sorted in one day

Rainmakers Interact Club supports local community with funds toward ocean garbage collection units

Flights are to resume to Prince Rupert and Sandspit airports under an Air Canada and federal government $5.9 billion agreement that was reached on April 12. A plane is seen through the window on the tarmac of Vancouver International Airport as the waiting room is empty Tuesday, June 9, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
$5.879 billion agreement between Air Canada and Fed’s will assist YPR in re-opening

Prince Rupert Regional Airport to reopen flights by June 1st, if not earlier

BC Housing townhouses on Kootenay Ave. were demolished during March to make way for new affordable residential units by Prince Rupert Indigenous Housing Society. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Despite a recent reduction in units project will still be able to house many

Prince Rupert Indigenous Housing Society says 60 units is still the plan

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

Norm Scott, president of Royal Canadian Legion Branch # 91, is disappointed the Legion does not qualify for COVID financial assistance from the provincial government. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C.’s pandemic aid package passing Legion branches by

Federal non-profit status stymies provincial assistance eligibility

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Vancouver Canucks forward J.T. Miller said it would be “very challenging and not very safe” for him and his teammates to play as scheduled on Friday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Canucks’ return to ice postponed again after players voice COVID health concerns

Friday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers was called off after the team met virtually with the NHLPA

B.C. Attorney General David Eby, Minister Responsible for Housing. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. announces $2B for affordable, middle-income family home projects

HousingHub financing to encourage more developers, groups – with low-interest loans – to build affordable homes

Most Read