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Canadian minister says new oil pipeline is needed – to pay for climate fight

Canada’s environment minister defended the government purchase of a major oil pipeline – claiming it will help in the fight against the climate crisis.

Minister of Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson said the money generated by the Trans Mountain pipeline will help Canada pay for its climate reduction targets.

His defence comes a day after the release of an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report that the United Nations called a “code red for humanity”.

The controversial Trans Mountain pipeline

(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Canada’s federal government bought Trans Mountain from Kinder Morgan Inc. for C$4.5 billion (£2.6 billion) in 2018 after the company threatened to halt plans for an expansion because of environmental opposition. The expansion will increase the amount of crude oil carried from Alberta to British Columbia’s coast from 300,000 to 890,000 barrels a day.

Wilkinson told CBC’s Power & Politics that Canada remains committed to phasing out fossil fuels and achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050, but investment is needed to fund it.

He said: “Canada needs to ensure that in the context of that transition, it’s extracting full value for its resources and using that money to push forward in terms of reducing emissions.

“What we’re doing is saying it’s got to be part of the transition, but part of the transition is being able to raise the revenues that enable you to actually make the investments that are required to go there.”

The opposition NDP slammed the purchase of the pipeline, which has been attacked heavily by numerous environmental groups.

Laurel Collins, the NDP’s spokesperson for climate change and the environment, said: “While they talk a lot about climate leadership, these are not the actions of a government who is interested in fighting the climate crisis like they actually want to win.

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