The Canadian government says it’s working on a plan to capture CO2 from burning fossil fuels and transport it to a liquefied natural gas (LNG) plant in Ontario.
The $1 billion project has been a major priority of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who announced the plan in February, saying it would make Canada “a major global player in the fight against climate change.”
LNG is currently under construction in Quebec.
But the project could be in jeopardy if the Liberal government doesn’t meet a June 1 deadline for the project to move forward.
In an interview, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said the Liberals are working to address the “huge challenge” of CO2 emissions and transportation, and she’s committed to funding projects that will help create jobs and boost economic activity.
The plan calls for a carbon capture plant to capture and store carbon dioxide emitted by the burning of fossil fuels.
McKenna said that in order to achieve the goal, the government is working with industry, including LNG manufacturers and refiners, to develop technologies that will make the process easier and cheaper.
McKenna says the goal is to have the facility operational by 2025.
“I think it’s important to recognize that it’s going to be a difficult task, but that the government will work with industry to make that happen,” McKenna said.
“And I think it will happen.”
McKenna said LNG plant owners and refineries have been working with her government on the project, including the creation of a Canadian Carbon Exchange, which will make it easier for manufacturers and importers to export their products to Canada.
But she said the government has not finalized any final deals with LNG companies.
“We’re not quite sure what we’re going to do with them yet, but we’re trying to work with them to find a way to do this,” she said.
McKenna noted that LNG export terminals in China have been closed due to high emissions.
But in Canada, she said, we have a lot of opportunities to do more with Largemouth Bass in our rivers, and that would be an even better use of LNG than exporting it to China.
McKenna also said the Canadian government is committed to investing in transportation infrastructure.
She said the plan includes a $1-billion infrastructure investment in LNG plants, and will be announced in the coming weeks.
The announcement came on the same day that the federal government announced it would spend $9.5 billion to help companies and other Canadians transition to cleaner energy sources.
That funding will be targeted at improving energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
In February, the Liberal Party pledged $10 billion to create the Canadian Climate Leadership Fund, which was designed to help businesses and households adapt to climate change.
The Liberals said the fund would help Canadians save money and improve their lives.
The Canadian Carbon Capture and Storage (CCCS) project, which McKenna called “a very significant step forward in addressing the climate challenge,” has been touted as the best way to meet Trudeau’s goal.
“CCCS is the most ambitious climate action plan in Canada’s history,” McKenna told reporters in an interview.
“The plan includes many other initiatives that are important for Canada’s economy, its infrastructure and its citizens.”
She said those include investments in green infrastructure, energy efficiency, renewable energy, the creation and distribution of high-quality public transit and better use and management of electricity.
McKenna’s comments come after a Liberal government committed to spending $2 billion on carbon capture and storage, but she said that was only a start.
“There’s still a lot more to do,” she added.
“So, we’re really committed to trying to do it.
And we have an ambitious goal.
We’re looking forward to doing it.”