David A. Green and Kevin Washbrook sum up BC’s coal problem:
Coal is the “dirtiest” fossil fuel – it produces the most global warming pollution of all fossil fuels when burned to make electricity, and virtually the same amount of pollution when used to make steel. BC is the biggest exporter of coal in Canada. When the emissions from all the coal exported from BC are added up, they are equal to the emissions we produce here at home.
Right now, more than 10 new coal mines are currently in some stage of planning in the province. The import and re-export of US coal has already grown considerably in recent years, and the provincial government has indicated that it would like to see a doubling of coal exports out of BC…
Our current status as Canada’s largest coal exporter is bad enough. These expansion plans cannot be reconciled with our moral obligations.
They offer five steps for BC and Canada should take to get off coal:
- Immediately ban the import and re-export of US coal.
- Halt new coal mines in BC.
- Phase out existing coal mines.
- Correctly price carbon; re-schedule price increases.
- Re-skill coal workers and transition mining communities.
Seems straightforward. Let’s get to work.