Solving the threats surrounding climate change has been at the forefront of environmentalists’ discussion for some time. Although strides have been made, there is still so much work to be done to reduce the carbon footprint and sustain the planet for the generations that will succeed us.
In Canada, natural gas production is abundant and many people are wondering whether natural gas can play a significant role that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions responsible for climate change.
According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, natural gas emits 50 to 60 percent less carbon dioxide (CO2) when combusted in a new, efficient natural gas power plant compared with emissions from a typical new coal plant.
Canada’s minister of environment and climate change understands the impact of global warming and considers the switch to natural gas part of the solution.
“The environmental threat to our world is greater than any time in human history. Just look around. We’re already seeing the impacts of climate change seared across the world,” says McKenna.
A major economic driver inside the border, Canada’s natural gas industry is also on course to become a leading producer in the global economy — in fact, advancements in hydraulic fracturing and multi-well drilling has allowed companies to drill multiple wells from a single location which also reduces the environmental footprint of drilling activities.
Other efforts are being directed at engineering smarter electric grids by building better batteries to store renewable energy, and capturing carbon dioxide from other sources with the goal of turning it into valuable products such as gasoline.
Additionally, hydrocarbons will continue to play a large role in meeting the increase in clean energy demand, and alternative sources of oil and gas, including oil sands, will become increasingly important. Social and environmental issues will be addressed with innovative technological development as more groups jump on board to execute new strategies against climate change.
Case in point, in northeast British Columbia, a group of North Coast First Nations is working to export liquefied natural gas while meeting Canada’s climate-change goals.
Speaking to the development is John Helin, mayor of Lax Kw’alaams band, based near Prince Rupert.
“I think there is a balance that can be reached, if we work together, where we can have the cleanest, greenest projects go ahead, at the same time addressing some of those (social) problems that we face,” he said.
The dangerous effects of climate change are imminent, and although there is no magic solution, depleting carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through the use of alternative energy like natural gas is just the first step in combating this global dilemma.