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

Independent candidate Martin Holzbauer, BC NDP candidate Nicole Halbauer, and incumbent BC Liberal candidate Ellis Ross. (Jake Wray/Clare Rayment/Black Press)
Skeena candidates talk Indigenous issues

Residential schools, Coastal GasLink Pipeline, and rights and title among issues addressed

Independent candidate Martin Holzbauer, BC NDP candidate Nicole Halbauer, and incumbent BC Liberal candidate Ellis Ross are running in the Skeena riding. (Jake Wray/Clare Rayment/Black Press)
Skeena candidates talk natural resources

Mining, oil and gas, and forestry are important industries in the Skeena riding

Courtney Preyser is a music teacher and librarian for several schools in Kitimat, and her passion for music and literacy shows in her work. (Clare Rayment)
In Our Valley: Courtney Preyser

Preyser grew up with a passion for music and literacy, which shows in her work and life everyday

<em>Black Press file photo</em>
Clare’s Corner: Giving thanks despite the negatives

Thanksgiving may have passed, but it’s never too late to count your blessings

<em>Black Press file photo</em>
Police look for vehicle after dangerous driving incident

The driver was speeding and failed to pull over for police

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Chastity Davis-Alphonse took the time to vote on Oct. 21. B.C’s general Election Day is Saturday, Oct. 24. (Chastity Davis-Alphonse Facebook photo)
B.C. reconciliation advocate encourages Indigenous women to vote in provincial election

Through the power of voice and education Chastity Davis-Alphonse is hopeful for change

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls has released a report on mental health and policing in the city. (File photos)
White Rock’s top cop wants to bill local health authority for lengthy mental-health calls

‘Suggestion’ included in nine-page review calling for ‘robust’ support for healthcare-led response

A Le Chateau retail store is shown in Montreal on Wednesday July 13, 2016. Le Chateau Inc. says it is seeking court protection from creditors under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act to allow it to liquidate its assets and wind down its operations.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Clothing retailer Le Chateau plans to close its doors, files for CCAA protection

Le Chateau said it intends to remain fully operational as it liquidates its 123 stores

RCMP stock photo (Black Press)
Charges laid against Prince George man, 39, in drug trafficking probe

Tyler Aaron Gelowitz is scheduled to appear in court Nov. 18

Green party Leader Sonia Furstenau arrives to announce her party’s election platform in New Westminster, B.C., on October 14, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Green party says it’s raised nearly $835,000 in 38 days

NDP Leader John Horgan is holding his final virtual campaign event

Most Read