The Effects of Climate Change Considerations in Environmental Assessment: A Case Study of British Columbia’s Liquid Natural Gas Sector
Luke, Lindsay 1982-
The development of energy resources and global climate change are inextricably linked. The purpose of this research was to examine the potential impacts of incorporating climate change considerations in project level environmental assessment (EA) regulations and practice within the context of the liquid natural gas (LNG) sector in British Columbia. The specific objectives of this research were to examine how climate change is considered in EA for the LNG industry, including the provisions for doing so, and assess the potential benefits and implications of increased climate change considerations in EA. A systematic review of EA documentation (e.g., impact statements, project approvals, mitigation plans) from LNG related projects in BC over the last ten years showed that climate change has been considered in some form in every project EA conducted, and during almost every project review phase. Semi-structured interviews with representatives from the energy industry, provincial government, environmental non-governmental organizations, and EA practitioners highlighted the challenges, concerns, and successes of climate change assessment and management. Based on the information collected from BC LNG EAs it was shown that EA can, and should, consider climate change but that is must be coupled with other planning, decision making, and regulatory tools to effectively address climate change. It also highlighted the lack of trust the public has in the EA process and that there is also a gap in knowledge and information sharing about how climate change is currently considered in EA. Numerous tools and process were identified through this research to augment the EA process, including strategic environmental assessment, economic incentives, practice guidance, and regulatory instruments.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
DepartmentGeography and Planning
CommitteePoelzer, Greg; Wilson, Gary; Hackett, Paul
Copyright DateDecember 2017
liquid natural gas