Each political party in next month’s election should declare its position on the shipping of Donald Trump’s dirty coal through the port of Vancouver.
It’s at least the equal to pipeline expansion in defining where each party stands on environmental protection and climate change, humanity’s single greatest challenge.
Some 13 million tonnes of American thermal coal is loaded on freighters at Roberts Bank each year bound for electrical generating plants in Asia and South America. At 40 per cent globally, coal is the single greatest fuel source of greenhouse gas emissions.
While boasting that we lead a coalition of nations aiming to phase out coal-powered generation by 2030, Canada aids and abets this assault against the planet because of our shortsighted view that it’s good for our economy.
People on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands have a front row seat to this hypocrisy. Many of the freighters that park for up to 40 days along our shores are coal carriers, ugly symbols of our tragic failure to confront climate change.
President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement in part because it was “unfair” to the U.S. coal industry. His administration has failed to persuade American west coast ports to lift their bans on shipping the dirty coal mined in Wyoming and Montana.
But, shamefully, Canada is doing it for him.