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press release

More bad news for B.C.’s climate goals, as yet another LNG project is approved  

July 8, 2024

VANCOUVER/UNCEDED xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (MUSQUEAM), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (SQUAMISH) AND səlilwətaɬ (TSLEIL-WAUTUTH) TERRITORIES — Last week, the federal government approved yet another fossil fuel export project, the Tilbury Jetty — neglecting the project’s full climate impacts, which make it incompatible with both the B.C. and federal governments’ climate commitments. The B.C. government approved the project back in March. 

Located at the mouth of the Fraser River, the Tilbury project is set to transport and export 3.5 million tonnes of fracked liquefied natural gas (LNG) per year from Delta, through the Fraser estuary, and out to the Salish Sea — putting B.C.’s climate goals further out of reach, while also further jeopardizing the endangered Southern Resident killer whale population. 

Environmental groups, including Ecojustice and Stand.earth fear both the B.C. and federal governments have turned a blind eye to the jetty’s climate impacts by approving the project without assessing its full greenhouse gas emissions. To operate at full capacity, the jetty is reliant on a proposed expansion of the Tilbury LNG facility, which is undergoing a separate environmental assessment. This blatant example of “project splitting” contributed to the jetty receiving approval without fully assessing the climate impacts of producing and exporting more LNG.  

None of the mitigation measures for the jetty address the full greenhouse gases produced at the source of fracking — nor do the measures address emissions from the transportation and burning of the fracked gas. Additionally, most federal mitigation measures have been left to the discretion of the project proponent, owned by Fortis and Seaspan. 

The decision marks the latest in a series of LNG project approvals that will put both B.C. and Canada’s climate targets further out of reach. While both the federal and B.C. government have committed to significant emissions reductions by 2030, the Tilbury Jetty and the related Tilbury LNG Terminal expansion will lock in about 1 million tonnes of GHG emissions per year within B.C. for decades to come — at a time when B.C. is already struggling to meet its climate targets.  

Fracked gas is not a climate solution. Leading science and global bodies, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Energy Agency (IEA) have stated as much. The IEA has maintained that fracked gas projects poison the air, water and soil — and by investing in these projects, we make it increasingly difficult to rapidly move to clean energy and meet our commitments to avert the climate crisis. 

Among the environmental impacts of the continued expansion of these projects include high risk to critical marine life. Despite the Minister of Environment and Climate Change concluding the Tilbury project would have significant cumulative adverse effects on the highly endangered Southern Resident killer whale population, Cabinet found these impacts were “justified,” as it also did with the Roberts Bank Terminal 2 project last year.  

Imalka Nilmalgoda, lawyer at Ecojustice, said: 

“In a disappointing series of decisions, both the federal and B.C. governments have approved yet another LNG project in the midst of a climate and biodiversity crisis. Fossil fuel expansion is categorically incompatible with keeping temperatures from rising above 1.5 degrees, and this project will lock us into further fossil fuel use at the exact moment we should be transitioning away from them. The federal and B.C. governments’ failure to consider the full GHG impacts of Tilbury Jetty, especially when B.C. is not on track to meet its 2025 or 2030 emissions reductions targets, will put a climate-safe future even further out of reach. The federal and B.C. governments have also further imperiled the Southern Resident Killer Whales with this decision, despite knowing that this project will contribute to the significant cumulative impacts that are pushing this iconic species towards extinction. The purpose of our environmental assessment law is to bring transparency and rigour to assessing major projects, but that’s not what we are seeing here.” 

Kiki Wood, Senior Oil & Gas Campaigner at Stand.earth, said: 

“It is disappointing indeed to see the federal and provincial governments putting communities, already vulnerable species, and the climate at risk by approving more dangerous gas infrastructure. The Tilbury jetty would require thousands of new fracking wells to be drilled in BC’s Northeast to supply it with fracked gas for export or bunkering. It is vital to properly assess the cumulative impacts of projects like this – from its upstream emissions to its impacts on the sensitive ecosystems like the Fraser River – and the federal government has failed to do that with this decision. Instead, this approval just locks Canada into a future relationship with the very toxic substances that are exacerbating forest fires and droughts that ravage our province.” 


Tilbury Marine Jetty Project, co-owned by Seaspan and a Fortis subsidiary, aims to construct a marine jetty at Tilbury Island on the Fraser River in Delta, B.C. The jetty will include the berthing and transferring of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to marine barges and carriers for delivery to local fuel markets and offshore export markets. This Project will require the construction of a new marine jetty and the construction of LNG infrastructure to receive processed LNG for transfer to marine vessels.  

The jetty will transport 3.5 million tonnes of LNG per year for export and marine shipping. This LNG will come from FortisBC’s proposed Tilbury LNG Phase 2 Expansion Project. The environmental assessments for the jetty and the Phase 2 Expansion Project have been split, meaning that the full environmental impacts of both projects together have not been assessed.  

Canada remains one of the world’s largest exporters of oil and gas. Further, the oil and gas sector has the fastest increasing emissions of any sector in Canada.  The International Energy Agency has determined that no new LNG projects are needed if the world is going to reach international climate goals to keep warming below 1.5 C. Both B.C. and Canada have committed to implementing emissions caps for the oil and gas sector that will require emissions to decrease significantly by 2030. Approving more LNG export facilities undermines these efforts to reduce the oil and gas sector’s overall emissions. 

Ecojustice uses the power of the law to defend nature, combat climate change and fight for a healthy environment. Its strategic, public interest lawsuits and advocacy lead to precedent-setting court decisions, law and policy that deliver lasting solutions to Canada’s most urgent environmental problems. As Canada’s largest environmental law charity, Ecojustice operates offices in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa and Halifax. 

Stand.earth (formerly ForestEthics) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with offices in Canada and the United States that is known for its groundbreaking research and successful corporate and citizen engagement campaigns to create new policies and industry standards in protecting forests, advocating the rights of Indigenous peoples, and protecting the climate.