July 3rd, 2013 Andrew Weaver made British Columbia and Canadian history as the first provincially elected Green Party member to speak in the legislature. The BC Liberal government, opposition and independent parties and members are debating the provincial budget in the current summer session, which estimate updates on revenue and spending due over the coming weeks.
The BC Liberal government has based medium and long term revenue targets largely on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) production and exports, which Andrew Weaver has aptly pointed out throughout the campaign, in the media and now in the House, is predicated on a price, and demand, which might not exist.
To base our economy on LNG is to risk subjecting BC’s economy to the boom and bust roller coaster of global fossil fuel pricing, with all its twists, turns and drops. Meanwhile, investors are increasingly highlighting the possibility of a global carbon bubble and the real economic risks that surround it. To attempt to lay all our eggs in this one basket, on the hope that we will be the one exception — the one jurisdiction that will defy history and economics— is to base our future on very unstable ground.
Yet even if we defy the odds, coast through the boom and bust cycles and breeze through the carbon bubble, we cannot achieve our provincial carbon targets while we double down on LNG. We will have no choice but to abandon our continent-leading, climate commitments. That’s not politics, it’s science. And the numbers just don’t add up. The carbon emissions associated with LNG development are simply too high to allow us to meet those targets.
However, there is a way forward – policies supporting clean technology and energy development – ones that were initiated by a BC Liberal government in 2008, and seemingly abandoned now.
You can watch the Hansard video of Andrew Weaver’s inaugural speech here.