MEDIA RELEASE April 7, 2010

Proposed power source will produce massive greenhouse gas emissions

Fort St. John – April 7, 2010: The recently released report, BC’s Peace River Valley and Climate Change, plainly demonstrates that BC Hydro’s proposed Site C dam would produce annual greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to 36,000 vehicles in the Lower Mainland.

Even though it has been billed as “clean energy,” the dam clearly would not meet BC’s own policy that states “all new electricity generation projects will have zero net greenhouse gas emissions” (The BC Energy Plan Factsheet, page 1):

  • BC Hydro has estimated that the Site C hydroelectric project could result in a net greenhouse gas impact of approximately 147,000 tonnes of CO2/year, equivalent to approximately 36,000 vehicles in the Lower Mainland.
  • The Site C reservoir itself would generate 74,000 tonnes of CO2 eq/yr, equivalent to the addition of 18,500 emitting vehicles, and continue to emit significant amounts of GHGs over the entire life of the reservoir.
  • The vast amounts of carbon stored in the Peace River Valley’s plants and soils contribute to the mitigation of global climate change. The Peace River Valley’s 4913 ha of lowland forest potentially destroyed by Site C store approximately 2.5 million tonnes of carbon, worth $9.8 million per year.

“The province simply can’t justify an energy source like Site C that significantly adds to climate change,” comments Project Manager and Registered Professional Biologist Brian Churchill. “Not only would our province lose an ecosystem that sequesters massive amounts of carbon, we would also lose crucial wildlife habitat for the continent, and agricultural food sources that is increasingly needed as climate changes food production and availability.”

“Given the high level of scientific certainty regarding the substantial climatic changes which BC will experience throughout this century, it would be inexcusable to omit the influence of climate change from predictions of Site C’s potential environmental and socio-economic impacts. When Site C is considered in the context of climate change, a number of very substantial costs are revealed. Unfortunately, these costs have been almost entirely ignored up to now, especially by BC Hydro.” (BC’s Peace River Valley and Climate Change, 2010)

The BC’s Peace River Valley and Climate Change report is part of the broader It’s Our Valley research and communication project about the Peace River Valley, funded by the Vancouver Foundation through partners West Moberly First Nations and the Peace Valley Environment Association. The project’s purpose is to enable local stakeholders and decision-makers to make educated sustainable decisions for Peace River natural resources. The project’s first report, The Living Peace River Valley (2009), highlighted the rich ecological, recreational, cultural and agricultural values of the valley.


FULL COPIES OF THE REPORT are available for download: