Climate Convergence Supports the Unis'ot'en Camp and Wet’suwe’ten Hereditary Chiefs Against Reckless LNG Mega-Project

Climate Convergence Metro Vancouver

Climate Convergence stands in solidarity with the Unis'ot'en Camp and Wet’suwe’ten Hereditary Chiefs in defending their traditional territories against the $40 billion LNG Canada mega-project approved by B.C. premier John Horgan.

A B.C. Supreme Court judge has ordered the Unist’ot’en to remove a bridge barricade because it blocks access to a Coastal GasLink pipeline site. The 670km pipeline would bring fracked gas from Dawson Creek to LNG Canada’s planned processing plant in Kitimat on the coast. More than a quarter of the pipeline route crosses Wet’suwe’ten Territory.

For now, the barricade remains in place, and the Gitumden Clan of the Wet’suwet’en Nation is building a new camp and blockade on the only road that leads to the Unist’ot’ten Camp. Unist'ot'en was created eight years ago in a bid to stop the Chevron Pacific Trail Pipeline, as well as two other proposed pipelines. It has since expanded to three structures, including a healing centre that accepts people from across the territory and visitors from other parts of B.C.

Though we recognize the importance of well-paying jobs and economic stimulus for communities in the northern regions of this province, the green-lighting of an LNG facility and associate pipeline violate the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People requiring “free, prior and informed consent” from Indigenous Nations before projects can go forward.

The LNG BC mega-project is also an environmental disaster that would generate new greenhouse gas emissions virtually certain to put B.C.’s climate targets out of reach.

In October 2018, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published a report suggesting that humanity may have as little as 12 years to implement reductions in greenhouse gas emissions on the order of 45% below their current levels, to avoid exceeding 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming since pre-industrial times. The results of failure to meet this target could be catastrophic for hundreds of millions of people around the world, including here in Canada, where we can expect significantly higher sea levels, along with deadly storms, wildfires, and heat waves. As IPCC co-author SFU Professor Dr. Kirsten Zickfeld has repeatedly emphasized, GHG emissions reduction of that magnitude is achievable, but any serious effort to reach it would leave no room for new fossil fuel infrastructure—including LNG Canada.

As if to rub salt in the wound, the premier has offered billions of dollars in tax breaks and special privileges to investors to help launch the project, including an exemption from future increases to B.C.’s carbon tax—often upheld as a model for jurisdictions around the world to follow. British Columbians are being forced to bear yet another lavish public subsidy for a fossil fuel industry that is eroding any prospect of a decent future for our children and generations to come.

It is entirely possible to respect indigenous rights, protect the environment and provide well-paid, sustainable jobs all at the same time. It is a question of priorities. Climate Convergence will continue to stand in solidarity with Indigenous Nations defending their traditional territories, and demand both provincial and federal governments invest in sustainable projects as opposed to new the fossil fuel infrastructure they currently subsidize. Our future depends on it!

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