Asking Canadian Banks to Divest from Canadian Oil & Gas Doesn’t Help the Environment

Say no to asking Canadian banks to divest from Canadian oil and gas

As global energy supplies continue to tighten and families across the globe are forced to choose between buying food or heating their homes, attacking Canadian banks for supporting domestic energy producers only makes things worse.

In late February, Greenpeace announced it would “take to the streets” calling on Canadian banks to stop funding fossil fuel projects as shown in the tweet below:

It’s puzzling to think that after years of instability in energy markets – and now especially with the events unravelling in Eastern Europe – that anti-Canadian oil and gas activists are singing the same old tune.

Canada is the second-largest country on earth, and many Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities are overwhelmingly reliant on the extractive resource sectors like oil and gas for economic opportunities. It only makes sense for Canadian banks to support domestic energy producers, which in turn supports our families, workers and communities across the country.

We also know energy scarcity is affecting nations around the world – a real crisis with real impacts such as food shortages, plant shutdowns and unaffordable electricity.

Canada - one of the most transparent, regulated and environmentally conscious energy producers on the planet - has an opportunity to step up its exports over the short to medium term and have a real positive impact on global energy supplies.

After all, more of our energy on global markets is good for both Canadians AND the global environment.

Global Oil & Gas Demand is Growing

global oil and liquefied natural gas LNG demand growth through to 2040

Greenpeace’s tweet comes at a time when global demand for oil and gas is projected to grow for decades yet. For example:

> The International Energy Agency (IEA) predicts global oil demand to increase to 104.1 million barrels per day (bpd) by 2026, then hover at around that level through to nearly 2040 under its latest World Energy Outlook 2021 Stated Policies Scenario (STEPS).

> Shell just recently announced it expects global consumption of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to cross 700 million metric tons per year by 2040, a 90 per cent increase versus 2021.

> The IEA also expects overall natural gas demand to increase by nearly 15 per cent from 4,000 billion cubic metres (bcm) per year to more than 4,500 bcm by 2030.

We are talking about demand growth in a sector that has created immense wealth and prosperity for all Canadians. Between 2000 and 2019, the industry generated nearly $505 billion in revenues for governments across our country. Additionally, exports were valued at $1.9 trillion between 1988 and 2020 according to the Canadian Energy Centre.

If anything, Canada should be the “last producer out of the pool” because of the economic benefits oil and gas creates for all Canadians in addition to our world-class record on human rights and environmental protections.

Not a Single Molecule is Kept in the Ground

Since Keystone XL pipeline was delayed, global oil demand grew by 10 million barrels per day

In light of growing global oil and gas demand, it’s important to point out that divesting from Canada’s energy industry does nothing to keep a single molecule of oil or gas in the ground.

The “divestment” from Keystone XL (KXL) is a great example of how global oil market share is ceded to other producers often with less protections for human rights and the environment.

Nixed by Biden shortly after his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States, KXL would have been a stable source of an additional 830,000 barrels per day (bpd) of oil to refineries in the mid-west and gulf coast.

In 2021, the U.S. imported roughly 671,000 bpd of Russian oil worth an estimated $17.4 billion dollars – supply that could have easily been accounted for by KXL.

Greenpeace and its divestment campaigns are on the wrong track, plain and simple. Activist opposition to Canadian energy projects does nothing to prevent oil and gas from being produced. What it does do is contribute to shifting global market share to less stable and responsible producer countries.

Canada’s ESG Record

Canada's ESG Rankings Among Top 10 Oil Exporters 2020

Canada’s world-class performance on Environmental, Social and Governance indices makes one thing abundantly clear: our nation should be a global oil and gas supplier of choice for the world’s energy needs.

Of the world's top oil and gas producers/exports, for example, Canada is a leader on the following:

The World Needs More Canadian Energy

Canadian ESG Leadership Among World's Top 10 Natural Gas Exporters

Recent global supply shortages combined with current events in Eastern Europe highlight the need for stable sources of supply - sources like Canada with world-class performance on ESG metrics.

While anti-Canadian oil and gas organizations ask you to divest from Canadian energy, we ask that you look at all the facts and answer this question honestly: who would you choose to buy your energy from?

Would it be from responsible producers in Canada who support Canadian families and governments, or from regimes in South America, the Middle East and elsewhere, often with much weaker protections for human rights and the environment?

The choice is yours.

Given the facts above, Canada is one of the most responsible producers and should be put up to the job to supply the world with its future energy needs. We choose Canada, and so should you!

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