The Canadian Government will look at the potential upstream greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of new pipeline proposals under new measures announced last week.
The assessment will take into account emissions produced in the extraction and processing of the oil a proposed pipeline would carry, according to the Canadian Press.
New rules will also require more consultation with Canada’s aboriginal peoples before a final decision is made on whether to allow construction.
The policy will apply to all future project assessments, including liquefied natural gas terminals and mining proposals. It will also apply immediately to two significant projects currently under review by the National Energy Board: the Trans Mountain Expansion project and Energy East Pipeline project.
“We believe it is important and, in fact, essential to rebuild Canadians’ trust in our environmental assessment processes,” said Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, as quoted by the Canadian Press.
“We need to take into account the views and concerns of Canadians, respect the rights and interests of indigenous peoples and support our natural resources sector.”
Ultimately, the decision on whether to approve or reject a project will be made by the Cabinet.
Asked how the various review mechanisms will be weighed and assessed, Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr said: “The Government of Canada is free to establish its own review and its own criteria for those reviews in whatever context it chooses. And the Cabinet ultimately will decide — weighing all the factors that are important to determine the national interest for these major projects.”