Canada’s Commitment to Avoid 1.5° Celsius Global Warming Means Federal Cabinet Saying No to Kinder Morgan Pipeline Expansion

(VANCOUVER) May 19, 2016 –  In announcing their recommendation to support Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project, the National Energy Board stated that they had examined all the scientific evidence and that the project is in the national public interest.

“What planet is the NEB living on?” asks Green City of Vancouver Councillor Adriane Carr, who had been a commentor in the NEB process, adding, “the NEB refused to examine any evidence related to the climate impacts of extracting and burning triple the amount of oil than had previously been carried by the pipeline, and completely ignored the national public interest which is vested in avoiding the devastating environmental, social and economic impacts of accelerated global warming on all Canadians, including future generations.”

“It was a foregone conclusion that the NEB would support the project. What else could people expect when NEB headquarters are located in oil country, people connected to the oil industry were on the original panel, they forbade evidence related to climate change, and disallowed intervenors from cross examining witnesses,” explains Carr.

“What is critical now, however, is understanding the context for the decision which is Federal Cabinet’s to make”, continues Carr. “That has all changed with Prime Minister Trudeau’s push in Paris that inspired the world to aim to keep global average temperature rise to below 1.5°Celsius.”

“It’s impossible to make the drastically deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions needed to slow down global warming to the degree needed and expand tar sands extraction. Prime Minister Trudeau and his Cabinet must know that saying yes to Kinder Morgan means that Canada will not meet our targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It means that we won’t be able to avoid catastrophic climate change. It means that the inspiring words in Paris would be just that…words,” states Carr.

A decision by our federal Cabinet is expected in December. “For the next six months, it will be all about public mobilization and focusing on reminding the Prime Minister and his Cabinet of their commitment to climate leadership,” explains Carr. “My hope for a positive outcome rests in my knowledge that people, especially here in Vancouver, not only want to avoid the risks of oil spills and the devastating impacts that even one big spill would have on our environment, economy and quality of life, but they also want to prevent the rapidly accelerating climate change that scientists such as James Hansen have just confirmed will likely lead to global sea level rise of two to five meters—five times more than earlier predicted--by the end of the century unless greenhouse gas emissions are dramatically and immediately reduced.”

Councillor Adriane Carr will be focusing her efforts on mobilizing the residents of Vancouver, who stand to lose so much that is dear to them if Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Project is approved.

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