October 25, 2021
UBCIC Calls on BC to End the LNG-Fracking Industry in Response to Climate Emergency
(Xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh)/Vancouver, B.C. – October 25, 2021) With less than two weeks before the COP26 UN climate conference in Scotland, the dark shadow of Canada and BC’s climate record looms large – Canada has had the highest emission growth of the G7 countries since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2016, and BC’s aspirations to expand Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) and fracking operations continue to thwart efforts to meet or exceed the province’s outdated legislated emissions targets. With the climate crisis disproportionately endangering the lives and cultures of Indigenous peoples, the Union of BC Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) is urgently calling upon the provincial government to stop investing in LNG and fracking expansion, and to implement crucial measures that will support the just transition to a clean-energy economy.
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, UBCIC President, stated, “Devastating wildfires, heat domes, crop failures, and disappearing salmon stocks – these are just a few of the climate change impacts that are inflicting irreparable harm upon the lives, cultures, and rights of First Nations in BC. They are a warning sign that the window for meaningful climate action is narrowing; the time is now to decrease oil and gas production in BC and get back on track to meet our environmental goals.” He continued, “At our 53rd Annual General Assembly, UBCIC passed Resolution 2021-55 which outlined the unacceptable environmental and health hazards posed by LNG development and fracking, the polluting extraction technique used by fossil fuel companies to crack open the earth and access gas deposits in BC. By Resolution 2021-55, the UBCIC Chiefs-in-Assembly called upon the province to issue a moratorium on fracking, provide financial supports and incentives for workers and Indigenous communities impacted by LNG production to transition to a clean-energy economy, invest in zero-emissions buildings, and end all fossil fuel subsidies. We urge Canada and BC to implement these actions and heed climate experts, Indigenous communities, environmental organizations, international bodies, and members of the public who have called on world governments to immediately stop investments in and approvals of new oil and gas projects.”
Chief Don Tom, UBCIC Vice-President of continued, “UBCIC Resolution 2021-55 highlights how the LNG-fracking industry is linked to increased fossil fuel emissions and is fundamentally incompatible with efforts to meet BC’s legislated greenhouse gas reduction targets by 2050. Despite the industry leaking methane, a potent greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere during drilling and fracking, and despite fracking wells poisoning clean water and endangering the health of farmers and Indigenous communities that live near fracking operations, the BC government continues to hand out exorbitant fossil fuel subsidies. This is completely unacceptable. Just last week two critical reports were released – the UN Production Gap Report and a report from the Trottier Energy Institute (IET) – that made it evident that Canada is lagging far behind it’s climate goals and that the only viable and cost-effective option left is to reduce oil and gas production. The pathway to net-zero emissions must be cleared of the dangerous obstruction that is the LNG-fracking industry.”
“Last week Quebec’s government made the groundbreaking announcement that it will ban the extraction of oil and gas in the province. The ban on fossil fuel extraction is a bold, necessary move to reduce fossil fuel production and BC needs to take note and follow suit,” stated Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, Secretary-Treasurer of UBCIC. “UBCIC joins the the Canadian Association of Nurses for the Environment (CANE), the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE), and other concerned organizations and residents across BC who are calling attention to the dangers of LNG and how upstream emissions from fracking and methane leaks negate the supposed advantages of natural gas as a bridge fuel in the transition away from fossil fuels. We must do away with the flawed justifications for fracking and LNG production and address the severe environmental, financial, and health risks the industry poses. Since time immemorial, First Nation communities have effectively protected and cared for their lands and waters, and have successful exercised their Title and Rights in the struggle to mitigate the climate emergency. Indigenous peoples will continue to fight for a viable pathway to net zero emissions and an Earth that can restore and sustain us for generations to come.
Grand Chief Stewart Phillip, President, 250-490-5314
Chief Don Tom, Vice-President, 250-813-3315
Kukpi7 Judy Wilson, Secretary-Treasurer, c/o 604-762-1812
UBCIC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
For more information please visit www.ubcic.bc.ca