Natural Gas and LNG as a Clean Fuel
Natural gas is a fossil fuel. Like all fossil fuels, it generates carbon dioxide – also known as CO2, a type of greenhouse gas. Natural gas is the cleanest burning of all fossil fuels and represents an efficient alternative to other energy sources, like coal. Replacing coal with natural gas would cut China’s greenhouse gas emissions by up to 40%.
Over a year, two trillion cubic feet of B.C.’s natural gas could replace:
- More than 70 nuclear facilities, or
- Approximately 100 coal plants.
B.C.’s Clean LNG Industry
British Columbia is an internationally recognized climate-action leader, with guidelines that benefit the environment and the economy.
The LNG industry will pay the same carbon tax as other industries in the province. At $30 per tonne, B.C.’s carbon tax is the highest in North America.
The Greenhouse Gas Industrial Reporting and Control Act was introduced by the provincial government to ensure B.C.’s LNG facilities will be the cleanest in the world. It supports competitiveness and also fosters innovative approaches to managing emissions.
In consultation with industry, a realistic greenhouse gas emissions intensity benchmark for LNG facilities was set at 0.16 carbon dioxide equivalent tonnes for each tonne of LNG produced. This includes all facility GHG emissions (combustion, electricity generation, venting and fugitives) from the point when gas enters a facility to where it is loaded before shipment.
Companies whose emissions exceed the cap can still meet the benchmark through flexible options, including purchasing offsets and contributing to a technology fund. Money from the new technology fund will go towards the development of clean technologies with significant potential to reduce B.C.’s emissions in the long term.
In addition to the technology fund, a LNG Environmental Incentive Program provides a pro-rated incentive to companies for achieving the benchmark based on the LNG industry’s compliance costs. By encouraging investment in advanced technology, and rewarding world-leading performances, the program will help B.C. achieve its environmental goals.
Exploration and production
British Columbia has one of the cleanest natural gas sectors in the world, and is taking action to lower the environmental impact of exploration and production. The Government of B.C. is working with industry to incorporate a sustainable plan to further reduce emissions.
Here are some facts about B.C.’s approach to climate leadership pertaining to upstream development:
- Routine flaring (the controlled burning of raw natural gas) has been eliminated.
- Methane emissions are being reduced, in part through new leak detection programs.
- The use of electricity by the natural gas industry is increasing.
- As part of B.C.’s regulatory standards for LNG facilities, the provincial government is establishing a technology fund that will facilitate new investments to reduce methane emissions.
The provincial government is also working with industry and stakeholders to identify other ways to reduce emissions, including carbon capture and storage. More details about these plans will be released in the near future as part of British Columbia’s new Climate Leadership Plan.
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