Politics

Ottawa says it must maximize revenue from the Trans Mountain pipeline to fight climate change

The minister responsible for Canada's role in fighting climate change is defending his government's purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline after a landmark UN report said the continued use of fossil fuels is pushing the climate toward catastrophe.

An expansion funded by Canada will more than double the amount of oil moving through the pipeline

The minister responsible for climate change and the environment said revenue generated by pipelines will help Canada transition to a low-emission future. (Jason Franson//The Canadian Press)

The minister responsible for Canada's role in fighting climate change is defending his government's purchase of the Trans Mountain pipeline after a landmark UN report said the continued use of fossil fuels is pushing the climate toward catastrophe.

Minister of Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson said today that revenue generated by the project will help Canada achieve its long-term climate objectives.

Wilkinson reaffirmed Canada's commitment to phasing out fossil fuels and achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050, but said achieving that target will require money generated by fossil fuels.

"Canada needs to ensure that in the context of that transition, it's extracting full value for its resources and using that money to push forward in terms of reducing emissions," Wilkinson told guest host Katie Simpson in an interview on CBC's Power & Politics.

"What we're doing is saying it's got to be part of the transition, but part of the transition is being able to raise the revenues that enable you to actually make the investments that are required to go there."

WATCH | Minister of Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson defends the TMX pipeline in wake of UN report on the dire consequences of continued fossil fuel usage

Environment minister defends government's climate plan

1 month ago
3:27
Environment and Climate Change Minister Jonathan Wilkinson defends the government's move to purchase the TMX pipeline in the wake of the UN's dire new warning about climate change. 3:27

Wilkinson's comments came on the same day that the UN climate panel published a report that forecasts catastrophic environmental consequences if humans continue burning coal and other fossil fuels.

The Canadian government purchased the embattled Trans Mountain pipeline from energy giant Kinder Morgan in 2018 for $4.5 billion.

A planned expansion of the pipeline will increase the amount of crude it carries from Alberta to British Columbia's coast from 300,000 to 890,000 barrels per day.

The project, and Ottawa's decision to purchase the pipeline, have been dogged by environmental concerns, objections from First Nations and economic forecasts that predict weak long-term demand for oil.

The NDP and Greens have repeatedly criticized the government for its decision to buy the pipeline. They repeated those criticisms today in statements responding to the UN report.

"While they talk a lot about climate leadership, these are not the actions of a government who is interested in fighting the climate crisis like they actually want to win," said Laurel Collins, the NDP's critic for climate change and the environment.

"The federal government is falling further and further behind our international partners in its climate action ambition and in doing its fair share," said Green Party Leader Annamie Paul.

With files from the CBC's Katie Simpson

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now