Metlakatla, Lax Kw’alaams, Nisga’a and Haisla commit to fight climate change internationally

First Nations launch Northwest Coast First Nations Collaborative Climate Initiative

Four First Nations on B.C.’s North Coast have signed a first-of-its-kind agreement to use B.C.’s LNG sector to fight climate change on the international stage.

On Wednesday, Oct. 9 leadership from the Coast Tsimshian — Lax Kw’alaams Band and Metlakatla First Nation, the Haisla Nation and the Nisga’a Nation announced the creation of the Northwest Coast First Nations Collaborative Climate Initiative.

“The reality is that Canada can make a much greater impact on climate change by displacing coal with B.C. LNG in Japan and China than we could if new LNG projects weren’t to proceed. Our Nations want to support the reduction of [greenhouse gases] as much as possible and displacing coal with B.C. LNG can make a major contribution,” said Harold Leighton, Metlakatla First Nation chief councilor.

The four Nations signed the initiative’s MOU while attending the World Indigenous Business Forum in Vancouver.

They agreed to collaborate on achieving their shared vision of implementing a First Nation climate policy framework at both the provincial and federal levels of government to mitigate climate change on a global level.

“Our community members are all concerned about climate change – we see its effects in our own backyards,” said Eva Clayton, president of the Nisga’a Nation.

READ MORE: Historic agreement signed between First Nations, governments for PNW monitoring committee

“We need to make a serious impact. Local initiatives that reduce emissions in B.C. by a few million tonnes per year are worthy goals, but they are not enough. We need to take action locally and globally.”

The Nations believe a major focus of all climate policy frameworks should be the replacement of coal-fired generation in the most polluting jurisdictions of the world with natural gas products from B.C.

Burning LNG in power plants produces roughly 40 per cent fewer green house gas emissions compared to coal.

“Our Nations are committed to working collaboratively with each other, with federal and provincial governments, with other First Nations, with energy project developers and with environmental organizations to get the policy framework right and to help plan and construct the electrification infrastructure to deliver new sources of renewable electricity to the region,” said John Helin, Lax Kw’alaams band mayor.

The leaders also believe some of the credit for the reduction in global greenhouse gases (GHG) should be transferred to Canada from countries who receive the natural gas through the Internationally Transferable Mitigation Outcomes, as enabled under Article 6 of the Paris Accord. This allows for climate change mitigation activities in one country to be transferred to another.

Crystal Smith, Haisla Nation chief councillor, said that B.C. could reduce as much as 64 million tonnes of greenhouse gases within on year if coal-fired facilities in Asia were replaced with a single electrified medium-to-large LNG plant.

“We are very pleased to know that this kind of displacement is a key objective of Shell’s LNG Canada project: the world needs more of this and so do our communities,” she said.

The agreement also says that B.C.’s gas products will be delivered by First Nations through their territories and businesses under the highest environmental standards while contributing to local nations’ economic self-determination and alleve poverty.


Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
Jenna Cocullo 
Send Jenna email
Like the The Northern View on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

No injuries reported following propane leak in Terrace

Hwy 16 closed off, businesses evacuated as emergency crews responded

Coastal GasLink stresses pipeline ‘on a schedule’ as B.C. appoints liaison for Wet’suwet’en

670-kilometre pipeline is schedule to be completed by end of 2023

River Kings dethrone Rampage to reclaim first place in CIHL standings

Terrace is heading to Rupert rivals Jan. 31 in what will be a pivotal match for first place

COLUMN | Creating a “community of practice” inspires

Art Matters by columnist Sarah Zimmerman

Hockey puck with nails found at Terrace Sportsplex Arena

City believes it has already caused $4,000 of damage

VIDEO: Canada’s first presumptive case of coronavirus officially confirmed

Both patient and wife arrived on a China Southern Airlines flight after having been to Wuhan

First-place Canucks beat Blues 3-1 for ninth straight home win

Miller nets pair as Vancouver defeats Cup champs

Swapping grape varieties can help winemakers adapt to climate change: UBC study

Report says 56% of wine-grape-growing regions would be lost if global climate warms by 2 C

Alberta premier wants feds to approve Teck mine for benefit of First Nations

Kenney: ‘Surely [reconciliation] means saying yes to economic development for First Nations people’

Police search for man who went missing from Vernon hotel

Jay Rosenberger, 38, was last seen Friday

NDP suggests easing secondary housing rules for B.C. farmland

Lana Popham proposes guest homes not just for relatives

After four sexual assaults in the same B.C. park, RCMP ask women not to walk alone

Four sexual assaults took place in Glen Park over two months

BC Place lights up in purple and yellow to honour Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter and seven others were killed in a helicopter crash

Whistleblower says Iranian-Americans questioned at Peace Arch crossing were targeted

Immigration lawyer says response from Customs Border Protection is a ‘total cover up’

Most Read