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Open Letter to Port Metro Vancouver on Coal Export Expansion

Open Letter to Port Metro Vancouver on Coal Export Expansion

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Published by: The Georgia Straight on Nov 28, 2012
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11/28/2012

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TO:Board, Vancouver Fraser Port AuthorityPlanning and Development Committee, Vancouver Fraser Port AuthorityRobin Sylvester, CEO Vancouver Fraser Port AuthorityCC:Mayor and Council, City of SurreyMayor and Council, City of North VancouverChief and Council, Tsleil-Waututh First NationChief and Council, Squamish First NationChief and Council, Kwantlen First NationChief and Council, Musqueam First NationChief and Council, Kwikwetlem First NationChief and Council, Semiahmoo First NationChief and Council, Katzie First NationChief and Council, Qayqayt First NationBoard, Metro Vancouver Regional DistrictCarol Mason, CAO Metro Vancouver Regional DistrictNovember 27 2012We are writing today to express our concerns about two tenant-led project proposals currently under reviewby the Port Authority: the Fraser Surrey Docks Direct Coal Transfer Facility, and the Neptune TerminalsUpgrades | Coal Handling Expansion.If approved, these two projects will increase coal exports from the Port Authority by up to 14 million metrictonnes (Mt) per year. This will bring the Port Authority's coal export capacity up to a staggering 55 to 59 Mtper year,
making it the largest coal exporter in North America
. Converted into global warming emissions,this volume of exported coal will release, when burned, more than 100 Mt of CO2 emissions per year, avolume of global warming pollution much larger than all the emissions within BC each year, and more thanthat associated with oil exports from the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline.As we are sure you know, the Northern Gateway pipeline proposal has been submitted to intense scrutinythrough a broad public review process, and has received extensive media coverage. In contrast, theproposals now before the Port Authority have received little attention until quite recently, even though, whenconsidered cumulatively, they have similarly significant implications for our climate and future generations.This is a problem that we call on you to correct.The mandate of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority states that it is to "operate with broad public support inthe best interests of Canadians." We write to you today to insist that these proposals are not in the bestinterests of Canadians, nor anyone else. They will by their very nature hasten the onset of dangerousclimate change, which poses a clear threat to human health and well-being. We also ask that youacknowledge that you cannot legitimately claim that these projects have broad public support, because youhave not adequately informed the general public about their existence nor sufficiently invited the public toprovide comment on their impacts.To rectify this failure to meet your mandate, we ask that the Port Authority take the following steps:1. Delay any decision making on either project application;2. Inform the general public of Metro Vancouver of the scope of these projects, and develop astraightforward and transparent process for inviting and publicly tabulating their input;3. Incorporate explicit consideration of the global climate change impacts of project proposals into thedecision making process for these and all future projects.The International Energy Association, the World Meteorological Association and the United Nations have allrecently released warnings that we are not doing enough to reduce global warming emissions, and that theopportunity to avoid catastrophic runaway climate change is rapidly closing. Given all that is at stake, the
 
Port Authority has an ethical obligation to pause and seriously reconsider these two coal export proposalsand to re-evaluate its decision making processes.We look forward to your public response to these requests.Sincerely,Bill McKibben, founder 350.orgNaomi KleinJames Hansen, climate scientistTzeporah Berman, VancouverMark Jaccard, Professor, Sustainable Energy, Simon Fraser University; member, Intergovernmental Panel onClimate ChangeAndrew Weaver, Professor, University of Victoria; member, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate ChangeWilderness CommitteeGreenpeace CanadaDavid Suzuki FoundationJames MacKinnon, author, The 100-Mile DietVoters Taking Action on Climate ChangeStopThePave.orgGeorgia Straight AllianceUBCC350BC Yukon KAIROSCouncil of CanadiansStopCoal.caSocial and Environmental Justice Committee of Vancouver QuakersDogwood InitiativeLynne Quarmby, Professor and Chair, Department of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, Simon FraserUniversityBruce Mohun, Science Journalist and TV DirectorDr. Arne Mooers, Biosciences, Simon Fraser UniversityEric Doherty, VancouverBC Sustainable Energy AssociationSimon Donner, Assistant Professor, University of British ColumbiaJackie Larkin, VictoriaFriends of the Earth (FOE) CanadaCanadian Centre for Policy Alternatives -- BC OfficeChristopher O'Brien, TorontoTanker Free BCArzeena Hamir, Amara Farm, Courtenay
 
William Rees, PhD, FRSCForestEthics AdvocacyEsther M. Verheyen, Professor, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Simon Fraser UniversityManitoba WildlandsFred Bass, VancouverRichard Marcuse ConsultingKathryn Harrison, University of British Columbia, ProfessorGreen 13, TorontoRob Baxter, Principal, Vancouver Renewable Energy; Director, Society Promoting Environmental ConservationEric Swanson, Campaigns Director, Dogwood InitiativeAlejandro Frid, PhD, Conservation EcologistZero Carbon OntarioBruce Brandhorst, Professor, Simon Fraser UniversityRosemary Cornell, PhD. Professor, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Simon Fraser UniversityCanadian Voice of Women for PeaceMitchell Stookey, VancouverTom L Green, PhD, Ecological EconomistCliff Stainsby, Cobble HillChristopher Barrington-Leigh, Assistant Professor, McGill University
 
Canada's Citizens Climate LobbyJamie Scott, MD, PhD, Professor and Canada Research Chair, Dept. of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry andFaculty of Health Sciences, Simon Fraser UniversityAnna Bunce, NanaimoEmma Campbell, VancouverToronto Climate CampaignVegans & Vegetarians of AlbertaStephen ReesWendy Major, member, PIPE UP NetworkRick Zaleski, member, PIPE UP NetworkKevin Harper, member, PIPE UP NetworkSuzanne Davidson, member, PIPE UP NetworkJulie Trimmingham, BellinghamSteve McMinn, BellinghamCLIMATE CHANGE TorontoStephen and Michael Hale, members, PIPE UP NetworkChristine Leclerc, VancouverCowichan Carbon Busters

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