Global demand for coal is growing, but it is neither in British Columbia’s nor Canada’s long term interest to blindly service that demand. The International Energy Agency reported earlier this year that if we continue to meet increasing demand for fossil fuels, by 2050 the world will be locked in to a devastating 6 degree celsius increase in temperature. If that happens, it will be no comfort to our children that Metro Vancouver’s port once did a thriving business exporting coal.
A few years ago, I worked with the port authority on drafting a long-term plan. It was a harrowing experience, where Vancouver’s export-oriented business community made their dangerous short-sightedness clear to me. They will behave as recklessly as we permit them to.
Canada’s intransigent and corrupted federal government will not helpfully intervene. Nor will British Columbia’s (likely) outgoing government. So, it’s extremely encouraging to see civil society and municipalities challenging these plans.