Energy Tomorrow: Why the world needs more Canadian energy

Canada can be a leader in meeting the growing world’s energy needs with resources produced in a new, bold way.

The growing world will require more energy in all forms. Renewables and new alternative sources will increasingly supply a larger part of that energy mix. But the world is also going to need oil and natural gas for a long time.

Tim McMillan is the CEO and president of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers.

However, those resources must be produced in a new, bold way that relies on technology, innovation, and high environmental performance standards.

A global vision for energy

A wave of global energy demand is coming, as billions of people — especially in developing economies — turn to oil or natural gas for home and industrial uses, as transportation fuels, and as feedstock to make products from cell phones to medical equipment, paint to plastics, clothing, and more. In fact, the world will need about 11 million more barrels of oil a day by 2040 — 10 million barrels in India and China alone.

Canada has the third most oil in the world, and produces the fifth most natural gas. This gives us the opportunity to share our incredible resource wealth. But do we have a clear vision? Bold leadership? Are we innovating enough to turn our imagination into action? Yes, yes, and yes.

Technology and innovation

Some of the strongest voices against petroleum development are concerned about greenhouse gases. But Canada’s upstream petroleum industry is working to break the link between energy growth and emissions growth.

For example, through Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA), oil sands companies are inventing and using leading-edge technology. This unique, world-class partnership is dedicated to reducing impacts on air, land, and water. To date, they’ve developed and shared more than 900 distinct technologies worth more than $1.3 billion.

Other examples: the Petroleum Technology Alliance Canada (PTAC) facilitates innovation, collaborative research and technology development, demonstration, and deployment for a responsible Canadian hydrocarbon industry, helping Canada become a technology leader. And the Clean Resource Innovation Network (CRIN) is a newly formed network that unites industry, academia, government, innovators, investors, researchers and businesses to accelerate innovation and commercialization of ground-breaking technologies. CRIN is helping make Canada’s oil and natural gas sector a global leader and centre of expertise in developing clean hydrocarbon-based energy.

Engagement and regulation

Canada’s petroleum industry supports the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and has developed guiding principles that govern respectful relationships, unique cultures and traditions, respect for the environment, and sustainable benefits for Indigenous communities.

Canada also has among the world’s highest standards for environmental protection. A 2014 study by Worley Parsons selected 10 producing areas (the U.K., Norway, the U.S. Gulf Coast, Australia (Queensland), North Dakota, Ghana, Brazil, Oman, Malaysia, and Alberta) and compared environmental laws and government processes with respect to stringency. The study revealed that Alberta, Canada is a consistent leader in environmental policies, laws and regulatory systems.

Energy tomorrow

Unlike many petroleum producing countries, Canada has very high environmental standards, a commitment to Indigenous engagement, and thriving innovation and collaboration. Canada is a safe, reliable and technologically savvy energy partner.

Canada is poised to be a global energy supplier of choice. That’s why Canada can — and should — play a larger role in the world’s energy of tomorrow. Canada can balance the world’s energy needs with our planet’s environmental imperatives.

In Canada, we have everything to help get the world’s energy future right. Resources. People. Passion. Ideas. Collaboration. Innovation.

I invite you to learn more about the commitment of Canada’s upstream petroleum industry to protecting air, land, and water, engaging in a meaningful way with Indigenous Peoples, and collaborating to develop innovative technology that will help the world transition to a lower-carbon future: Read our Energy Tomorrow report.