Letter: strike against CO2 lock-in in Canada, strike for life

Dear Editor: 

Yes, and it is happening in Átl’ḵa7tsem / Howe Sound, in Burnaby, in Kitimat, in B.C. and Alberta: CO2 lock-in. 

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“Is CO2 lock-in a good thing?”  Here is the deal. Canada is allowing for new fossil fuel projects to be built at a time when it shouldn’t. Regardless of your position or how you voted in the last election, the science is clear: we have a limited amount of time to ensure that global warming doesn’t become rapid global heating.  

At this point Canada is allowing projects like Woodfibre LNG, Trans Mountain Pipeline, LNG Canada, the drilling of thousands more fracking wells, and the opening of new tar-sands mines to go ahead. And with it––once these projects become operational––to allow for a drastic increase in the emission of greenhouse gasses for the next 25 to 40 years. These are perfect examples of CO2 lock-in. Every new fossil fuel project automatically leads to extra CO2 emissions for the project  lifetime.

So why does Canada’s government allow this? Didn’t Canada sign the Paris Climate Accord in December of 2015? Many took the signing of that accord very seriously. We were inspired, encouraged, many households started making efforts to cut back, expecting Canada to cut back drastically on CO2 emissions and to invest heavily in renewable energy, joining other leading countries who are doing so too.  But that is not what Canada is doing, and to no one’s surprise, in the recent “Brown to Green” report, Canada “scores” second last of the G20 countries when it comes to tackling global heating.  

As much as we try on a household level, our efforts can simply not make up for Canada’s rising CO2 emission gap due to the CO2 lock-in of these new fossil fuel projects. In order for Canada to become CO2 net-zero by 2050, it must cut CO2 production of large industrial projects and have no new ones come online. 

I don’t want my children and, if ever, my to-be-born grandchildren, to be fried due to global heating.

So what are we going to do? Clearly we are on the wrong path.  Clearly we cannot allow for new fossil fuel projects to come online. We must invest in renewable energy now. 

So where will the money for renewable energy come from? As it looks now, the Canadian government is looking for the revenue from these new fossil fuel projects. But that will simply take way too long when the money is right there. Right there in the bank accounts of large corporations and the super wealthy who are swimming in money because successive Canadian governments over the years continued to lower corporate taxes. 

We simply don’t have the time for the already super low royalties fossil fuel resources to provide us with adequate amounts of money. 

Does that mean Canada has to stop the new projects and ignore investment deals with other countries? Totally! Because if we don’t: we are fried. Literally. 

A good first step is to join a Climate Strike. They are happening all around the world. See FridaysForFuture.ca for details. The second step is to organize. 

We must do this for life!

—Anton van Walraven

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