Can Canada meet its climate commitments while growing its oil and natural gas industry? CAPP executive vice-president Terry Abel addresses this concern, citing industry innovation and drive to be a global leader in producing lower-carbon energy for the world.
When we approach the production of our oil and natural gas resources, and we do so in the context of some of the most stringent environmental regulation on the planet, we have to look at the overall objective of producing our resources in a way that breaks the link between production and the generation of GHG emissions. We’re spending a huge amount of effort and billions of dollars to find technologies that actually break that link. We believe we can get to a point in Canada as an industry where we can grow our production of oil and natural gas and actually have overall emissions go down as opposed to increase proportionately.
Canada’s role in a global issue like climate change I think is probably one of the most important things we can do. Different parts of the world for a variety of reasons will have a different pace in their transition—it won’t be as quick as Canada’s. And for that reason, many parts of the world are going to require oil and gas for some time to come. It only makes sense that if the world is going to try to transition—and they’re going to have to transition—that they have access to some of the lowest GHG-intensity resources on the planet. Canada will be a leader in that regard. And therefore, it’s really important that Canada play a role in making those resources available to other parts of the world. In order for us to do that, we’re going to have to grow production, our industry is going to have to grow, but none of us should forget that that’s actually going to help the global transition and the global reduction in GHG emissions.
Canada leads the way in terms of climate policy. If you were to look at the top 10 oil producing nations in the world, or oil exporting nations is probably the better way to look at it, only Canada has climate policies. Canada is driven and motivated to find the technologies to produce that most efficiently. Countries without those kinds of policies—it would be unreasonable to expect them to be investing in technology to actually green their production. They’re not required today; they’re selling and exporting their resources today without that. Only Canada is stepping up and leading the way and our industry is fully comfortable responding to that challenge. You won’t see that occur in other jurisdictions.