Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio made his first visit to Ottawa this past week, representing a significant opportunity for Canada to expand its relationship with its third-largest trading partner .
Like Europe, recent global events have put resource security at the forefront for Japanese policymakers as the Asian nation looks to pivot away from reliance on China and Russia for food and energy.
Kishida asked Ottawa to commit to providing his country with liquefied natural gas (LNG) like many other foreign leaders before him throughout 2022. However, none have yet been successful in nudging any Canadian LNG export projects forward through Canada's extremely rigorous - and painstakingly slow - regulatory process at an expedited pace.
Here are a handful of examples where the world has asked Canada to do more on the LNG front with little to no results. Also see:
- Germany Signs Long-Term Deal with Qatar, Sorely Missed Opportunity for Canadians
- Canada Can Displace Less Responsible Energy on Global Markets: SURVEY
- Why Should We Support Democratic Energy Producers vs. the Alternative?
- Is There a Business Case for LNG? Just Ask These 12 Countries.
Not long after the war in Ukraine began early in 2022, Latvia said it would welcome shipments of Canadian LNG to Europe to help reduce its reliance on Russian natural gas .
Kaspars Ozolins, Latvia’s ambassador to Canada, said there was a proposal to build a new LNG import terminal near the Baltic Sea port of Skulte, and that his country would encourage Canadian investors.
“We are trying to build a resilient energy system,” Mr. Ozolins said in an interview. “If Canada is going to invest in LNG, we would wholeheartedly support it.”
It’s not far off to say that if Canada had readily available LNG supply on its east coast, European countries like Latvia would more than likely be top customers.
Ukraine’s ambassador to Canada has expressed her country’s desire to source Canadian energy as an alternative to Russian fuels .
In mid-2022, Yulia Kovaliv issued a call to Canadian oil and gas companies to help in the fight against Russia by entering and expanding in Europe’s energy market.
“Canada, we do believe, and the other countries . . . have to support us in providing the additional sources of energy since the European continent is rethinking, in general, their energy security,” said Kovaliv at an energy conference in Canada.
Today, nearly a year has passed since the latest war in Ukraine began and there hasn’t been any progress on new east coast LNG projects.
Germany’s Chancellor Olaf Scholz was yet another foreign leader that has asked for Canadian-made LNG. Scholz has stated that his country and Europe as a whole prefer Canadian LNG over other sources of supply found abroad .
“As Germany is moving away from Russian energy at warp speed, Canada is our partner of choice. For Now, this means increasing our LNG imports. We hope that Canadian LNG will play a major role in this,” the Chancellor said while visiting Canada in August 2022.
Germany has gone on to sign multi-decade LNG deals worth tens of billions of dollars with Qatar, the United States and other suppliers since he visited Canada.
Meanwhile, the EU member state has also managed to build LNG import terminals in record time, with the first three opening for shipments in January this year.
Chancellor Scholz has repeatedly reiterated Europe also wants more Canadian-made LNG. In an interview with Vassy Kapelos on CBC News Network’s Power & Politics, Scholz made it clear that he speaks not only for Germany, but also for Europe .
"We would really like Canada to export more (liquefied natural gas, LNG) to Europe," Scholz said.
"We have not built terminals for importing liquid natural gas to Germany at our own shores in the north. This is what we are changing now … We will build ports, at many places, for importing natural gas, liquid natural gas, LNG, and this will really make a difference."
Scholz lived up to his promise of new LNG import facilities, built in just months, and in record time.
Despite Japan’s recently signed long-term LNG deals with Oman and the U.S., the country is still full speed ahead in looking for alternative sources of supply for energy and food .
Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio met with Canadian government officials including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau this past week, making it clear that his nation wants Canada’s LNG.
“The world is having an energy crisis,” Kishido said. “We also want to have a closer relationship with Canada in the area of energy.”
“We’re facing an energy crisis and countries around the word are trying to strike a balance between ensuring a stable supply of energy, as well as the other side, the decarbonization. In that sense, I am confident that Canada will play a major role as a resource-rich country,” Mr. Kishida said to Trudeau, via reporting from The Globe and Mail.
With no commitments from Canada to boost LNG supplies to Japan, it seems Kishido will be left to ask other countries abroad for new natural gas supplies.
The World Needs More Canadian Energy
Global oil and gas demand is poised to continue growing for decades to come, according to the latest outlook by the International Energy Agency.
In a global economy, if new LNG supplies don’t come from Canada, they will simply come from other less responsible exporters abroad.
When exactly will Canada figure that out?
More responsibly produced Canadian energy on global markets is good for our families, global energy security AND climate action.
It’s not too late to step up to the plate and help our closest allies in Asia and Europe with reliable LNG supply, as they have asked us to do many times over.
Germany and China just signed long term deals with Qatar for new natural gas production starting in 2026.— Canada Action (@CanadaAction) December 4, 2022
Australia just shipped its first LNG cargo all the way to Europe and the USA looks to triple #LNG exports by 2033.
Canada is missing out. Big time.#CdnPoli #CdnEcon pic.twitter.com/ycdrJmU55E
1 - Government of Canada - State of trade 2020, Date Accessed: January 2023 (https://www.international.gc.ca/gac-amc/publications/economist-economiste/state-of-trade-commerce-international-2020.aspx?lang=eng)
2 – The Globe and Mail – Latvia wants Canadian natural gas imports to reduce reliance on Russia, says ambassador, Date Accessed: January 2023 (https://www.theglobeandmail.com/politics/article-latvia-wants-canadian-natural-gas-imports-to-reduce-reliance-on-russia/)
3 - Global News - New Ukraine ambassador calls European energy crisis an opportunity for Canada, Date Accessed: January 2023 (https://globalnews.ca/news/8906225/ukraine-ambassador-european-energy-crisis-canada-opportunity/)
4 - Reuters - Germany touts possible ‘major role’ for Canadian LNG in shift away from Russia, Date Accessed: January 2023 (https://www.reuters.com/business/energy/canadian-lng-could-play-major-role-germanys-shift-russian-gas-scholz-2022-08-23/)
5 - CBC - Scholz says Germany wants more natural gas from Canada, Date Accessed: January 2023 (https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/scholz-vassy-kapelos-lng-russia-gas-1.6559814)
6 - National Post - Being reliable supplier of energy important, Trudeau says as Japan looks to Canada for LNG, Date Accessed: January 2023 (https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/trudeau-energy-japan-canada-lng)
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