In Canada, approval of Bay du Nord offshore oil project is furious with environmental activists

This document from Equinor on March 14, 2022 shows an illustration of the future FPSO vessel Bay du Nord (Floating Production Storage and Offloading).

“Investing in new fossil fuel infrastructure is moral and economic folly,” said Monday, April 4, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to comment on the new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which invited the planet to redouble its efforts to prevent the climate crisis. Moral and economic folly : Canada’s environmental associations have taken up this argument in unison to denounce the green light given Wednesday by Ottawa to the Bay du Nord oil project.

Led by the Norwegian company Equinor, it will extract 300 million to a billion barrels of oil at a depth of more than a kilometer from 500 kilometers off the coast of Newfoundland, in the Atlantic Ocean, over a period of 30 years. Commissioning is planned for 2028.

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To justify the Justin Trudeau government’s approval for this highly controversial project, while Canada is the fourth oil-producing country but also the only G7 state to have failed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions (GES) since 2015, the Environment Secretary Steven Guilbeault took refuge behind an economic and environmental demand. You have to be aware of reality. We will continue to consume oil for many decades to come Do we want to consume oil that emits ten times more greenhouse gases per barrel than Bay du Nord’s? This is the case with the oil sands he launched and promised that this project met all the conditions to climate neutral” by 2050, and that it had also received approval from Canada’s Impact Assessment Agency. But this argument of an oil? cleaner was not enough to convince Bay du Nord’s opponents.

“Dunce position in the light of climate change”

“This is just one project that will add fuel to the fires of the climate crisis”is offended Patrick Bonin, responsible for Greenpeace Canada’s climate-energy campaign. “Producing so-called green or clean oil is just a fantasy: it doesn’t exist. Oil is oil: there will be consequences no matter how it is produced.”responds Emile Boisseau-Bouvier, climate policy analyst within the ecological association Equiterre. “85% of GHG emissions occur when oil is burned, ie consumed adds Caroline Brouillette, of the Climate Action Network. “Since Bay du Nord’s oil is destined for export, it is not accounted for in Canadian emissions, but there is only one atmosphere where these greenhouse gases go, and that has nothing to do with borders.”

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