Yes, We Can Support Both Climate Action and Canadian Oil & Gas

If you take climate action serious, you support Canadian oil

Canadians don’t have to choose between supporting climate action and backing our oil and gas industry. It’s in our best interest to build bridges and work together, for the good of our national economic prosperity and the global environment.

Each of us has a responsibility to engage in a balanced, fact-based and constructive discussion about the role responsibly produced Canadian oil and gas can play in advancing environmental innovation around the world, and how Canada’s energy resources are in the best interests of the planet.

Further, we all need to foster an informed conversation about the importance of our energy sector to Canada’s economic prosperity. For example, more than $490 billion of revenues were generated for our governments between 2000-2018 by the industry.

This discussion must include a clear recognition that Canada is a global leader when it comes to important topics such as clean technology, environmental innovation, renewable power generation, reducing gas flaring volumes, emission intensity reductions, carbon capture, and carbon pricing initiatives.

Here are several facts that drive home Canada’s record on various environmental, social, and governance metrics, and that make us a global leader on climate action. In short, these facts help illustrate why Canada should be a country of choice for both investment and supply.

40+ Canadian Oil & Gas Facts: Balancing the Conversation

Oil and gas demand will continue to grow for decades to come and will remain fundamental to our global energy mix. The International Energy Agency estimates the world will need between $12 - $17 trillion of additional investment in oil and gas by 2040 to avoid supply shortages. The IEA also estimates that demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) will double in that same time frame. The question is whether or not the world’s energy supply should come from producers who implement the highest environmental standards in the world, as Canada does.

Canada is one of the world’s few oil-producing nations where detailed disclosures are publicly available on climate and environmental-related risks, and where government-led initiatives push energy companies to continually refine reporting consistency and transparency. That’s leadership.

Of the world’s top 20 oil producers, Canada ranks 2nd on the Social Progress Index (‘S’ in ESG) and the World Bank’s Worldwide Governance Indicators (‘G’ in ESG), and 4th on the Yale / Columbia Environmental Performance Index (‘E’ in ESG). That’s leadership.

Of the world’s top 15 oil reserve holders, Canada ranks 1st on all 3 of the aforementioned indexes. That’s leadership.

Canada is currently the 7th largest producer of renewable energy in the world, with several projects underway that will substantially increase capacity even more in the near future. That’s taking action.

Canada is home to one of the only oil producers in the world that is net negative for upstream carbon emissionsThat’s leadership.

Canada currently gets about 82% of its electricity demand from non-emission sources such as hydro, nuclear, wind, and solar, a percentage that is world-class when compared with other major oil and gas producers. That’s leadership.

The Alberta Carbon Trunk Line (ACTL) is the world’s largest capacity pipeline for carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from human activity. That’s leadership.

Canadian oil sands producers have reduced their emissions per barrel by 36% between 2000 and 2018. That's taking action.

Since 2011, upstream oil sands emissions intensities have decreased by 22%That’s leadership.

By 2030, upstream oil sands GHG emissions intensities are projected to drop by 30% below 2009 levels as a result of continued focus on moving towards cleaner, and more efficient extractive and production processes. That’s leadership.

With GHG intensities down by roughly 24% since 2012, oil sands now emit just 4% to 6% more than the global average on a well-to-wheels basis; several newer projects already boast below-average carbon footprints. That’s progress.

If emissions related to the consumption of refined product are included, Canadian-sourced heavy oil barrels are competitive (within 10% of the global average for the majority of oil sands barrels even before applying the impacts of new technologies). That’s progress.

Canada ranked 4th on the Global Cleantech Innovation Index behind only Denmark, Finland and Sweden and ahead of all other nations in the G20. That’s leadership.

Canada ranked 7th on the Democracy Index 2019, ranking better than all other major oil and gas producers except for Norway. That’s leadership.

Canada ranked 9th on the Rule of Law Index 2020, faring better than all other major oil and gas producers save Norway. That’s leadership.

Canada ranks 11th on the Women, Peace, Security Index 2019-20, ranking higher than almost all other major oil and gas producing nations across the globe except for Norway and the U.K. That’s leadership.

Canada ranked 12th on the Corruption Perceptions Index 2019, which means we’re perceived as one of the least corrupt major oil and gas producing nations in the world – a higher rank than other major global petroleum producing countries save Norway and the U.K. That’s leadership.

Canada ranked 16th on the Freedom of Press Index 2020, again, well above all other major global oil and gas producers except for Norway. That’s leadership.

Only 10.5% of global crude oil production is subject to carbon pricing, with Canada accounting for about 4.2% of world production. That’s world-class.

Canada’s oil and gas sector is an integral part of communities across the country; donations are made to communities and non-profits sometimes on a weekly basis to support mental health, education and infrastructure as a few examples. That’s leadership.

Canada’s oil sands sector injects more than $80 million each year on average into communities to support resiliency programs, education / skills development, and engagement with Indigenous and youth groups. That’s leadership.

Canadian oil and gas companies have spent tens of billions on procurement of goods and services from Indigenous-owned businesses over the past decade alone. That’s responsible.

Average female employment rates among oil and gas companies in Canada are increasing substantially, with some companies seeing double percentage point increases in recent years. That’s leadership.

Adaptive governance is increasingly believed to be a major cause of environmental and social sustainability. The Boards of oil sands producers are highly independent and diverse; 75% are independent directors, and 50% are professionals with careers outside of the sector. That’s good governance.

Canada is home to 4 of 18 large-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects currently operating around the world, or about 20% of the world’s total. That’s taking action.

Despite the decline, in 2016 the oil and gas extraction industry had the largest share of expenditures among the 16 industry groups surveyed, spending $3.7 billion, or 44% of total business environmental protection expenditures. That's leadership.

Since 2000, flaring volumes of natural gas in Alberta – home to the oil sands - have dropped by 57%, making Canada one of the lowest gas flaring oil producers in the world. That’s setting an example.

Canada was the first country in the world to commit to reducing methane emissions from oil and gas production by 45% by 2025 (vs. 2012 levels). That’s leadership.

Canada is the only top oil reserve holder and major oil producing country that has sent up a satellite to track and monitor methane emissions from oil production. That's taking responsibility.

Methane gas flaring associated with oil operations have dropped by 68% since 1996, making Canada one of the lowest gas flaring nations by volume among the world’s top oil producers. That’s leadership.

If minimal gas flaring standards (like those used in Canada) were practiced worldwide, the global amount of GHG emissions from producing the average barrel of oil would drop by 23%That’s leadership.

Canada is home to the largest collaborative effort among competing independent companies to share intellectual property and scientific-based best practices around improving environmental leadership. That’s unheard of.

Canadian oil and gas companies are some of the largest investors into renewable energy; they are constructing much of the wind, solar, biofuel, and hydro projects in the country. That’s taking action.

Canada’s energy companies are starting to embrace the transition to a lower-carbon future by supporting electric vehicle initiatives across the country. That’s leadership.

Alberta, Canada’s largest oil and gas producing jurisdiction, has had carbon pricing initiatives on large industrial emitters since 2007, making it the first to do so in North America and one of the first in the world just behind the European Union. That’s setting an example.

Canadian oil and gas producers have collectively planted tens of millions of trees as part of reclamation efforts over the past several years. That’s taking responsibility.

A typical steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) oil sands project requires up to 75% fewer wells than a comparable U.S. tight oil project does over its lifetime in order to sustain production. That’s leadership.

Canada’s oil and gas industry is by far the largest spender on clean technology in the country, accounting for roughly 75% of all investments made annually. That’s setting an example.

Since 2009, the oil sands industry has spent over $9.3 billion on research and development – notably higher than other major global oil producers on a per-barrel basis. That’s leadership.

A strict regulatory regime makes it mandatory for all land disturbed by extraction and production of oil and gas to be 100% reclaimed to a natural, self-sustaining stateThat’s taking responsibility.

Note: facts not hyperlinked have repeated sources already linked to within this list

Let’s Have a Balanced & Informed Discussion About Canadian Oil & Gas

The world will continue to rely on oil and gas for decades to come. In the interest of environmental protection and advancing climate action, and for these and other reasons, Canada should be a nation of choice for investment and supply.

Blocking Canadian pipelines and energy exports is bad for Canadian families and communities, Canada’s economic recovery and the global environment.

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