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Section 1: Achieving our 2030 Emissions Reduction Target of 40 – 45% by 2030
Q1. What opportunities do you think the Government of Canada should pursue to reduce emissions by 40-45% below 2005 levels by 2030 and position Canada to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, including in any or all of the following economic sectors? Please elaborate on your answers where appropriate, including any specific insights on policy opportunities or initiatives.
- Heavy Industry, including oil and gas
- All credible forecasts show that oil and natural gas will continue to be an important part of the world’s energy mix for decades.
- The Government of Canada needs to recognize the significant technological and innovation work of the oil and natural sector as an opportunity to help other industries and Canada meet our environmental and climate ambitions.
- It is impossible for governments to determine what technologies, solutions or opportunities will most efficiently get Canada to its 2050 climate objectives while enhancing prosperity.
- High impact solutions are generated from the ground up by experts in industry.
- Establishing a stable policy environment that rewards innovators is the best way for government to move Canada towards its 2030 objective.
- The natural gas and oil industry has a broad array of innovative solutions to deliver emissions reductions. Technological advances that are not aspirational, but real, and delivering results and emissions reductions today.
- The Oil Sands Pathways to Net Zero includes the companies that operate about 95 per cent of Canada’s oil sands production. The goal of this unique alliance is to achieve net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050, to help Canada meet its climate goals.
- Canada produces what is arguably the most environmentally and socially responsibly natural gas in the world. And the liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry we are developing will produce among the world’s cleanest LNG.
- Exporting Canada’s natural gas to help offset increasing coal production throughout the world is one of the single largest contributions Canada can make in the fight against global emissions.
Q2. What do you see as the barriers or challenges to reducing emissions in these sectors? Do you have suggestions on how to overcome these barriers?
- Energy is essential and the demand for all forms of energy (including oil and natural gas) will only increase as we move closer to 2050. Failing to recognize these realities will create barriers to real emissions reductions.
- Canada needs to leverage the strongest sectors of its economy – particularly those sectors that have a proven track record of environmental innovation and high-performance (like oil and natural gas) – to build on our strengths and develop real solutions.
- Policies that focus on specific solutions as opposed to outcomes can also inadvertently act as a barrier. Governments should focus on emissions reductions and creating policies that reward action, including the domestic benefits of Canadian companies helping reduce global emissions.
- Canada is blessed to have some of the most affordable energy in the word. However, many countries throughout the world are struggling with rapidly increasing energy prices that are forcing them to revert to coal-fired power to keep their economies running.
- Today, energy prices are rising and driving price increases across the whole economy, including the products Canadians use every day. The individuals that are hurt most by increased costs are those that can least afford it. This is not an acceptable outcome.
Q3. What broader economic, technological, or social challenges and opportunities do you foresee resulting from efforts to reduce emissions in these sectors? For example, opportunities associated with economic diversification across sectors. Do you have suggestions on how to address these challenges and opportunities?
- Poorly implemented efforts to reduce emissions in Canada’s economic sectors will drive investment to other countries, increasing Canada’s dependence on other jurisdictions for our domestic energy needs, and potentially lead to carbon-leakage.
- It is not possible to predict how the economy will change (or diversify) because of any given policy. If the focus is emissions, Canada will continue producing products where it has a competitive advantage, including our superior environmental performance and regulatory system.
- This means more Canadian oil and gas production with decreasing emissions, because of our commitment to technological innovation.
- The workers in Canada’s natural gas and oil industry are the people developing the technology to lower the intensity of energy essential to our quality of life. And the ones researching and implementing world-leading innovations (like carbon capture and storage) that will help us reach our goals.
- If the focus is on real outcomes in reducing emissions, it is not necessary to displace them or their jobs.
- It is critically important to remember that ignoring the economic and environmental opportunities our natural gas and oil sector presents will negatively impact key national priorities, including reconciliation and increasing prosperity for Indigenous peoples many of whom have major interests, including ownership, in Canadian oil and natural gas projects.
Section 2: Contributing to Net-Zero by 2050
Q4. Looking beyond 2030, what enabling measures, strategies or technological pathways do you think the Government of Canada should put in place now to ensure that Canada is on track to net-zero emissions by 2050?
- To date, Canadians have been presented several increasingly ambitious goals with varying dates of implementation. However, little detail has been presented on the mechanisms and implications of the policy direction required to reach the government’s targets and how each of these steps will affect affordability and economic growth in Canada.
- A net-zero plan is an economic plan and economic outcomes should be explicitly included. It is essential that the federal government develop a plan focused on outcomes that identifies the magnitude and impacts of the different options presented.
- Canada’s approach needs to focus on emissions and not on a favoured approach or solution.
- When considering meaningful ways to lower emissions the perfect should not be the enemy of the possible, affordable, and reliable.
- It would be a mistake to ignore what is possibly the most effective and efficient means to immediately reduce emissions: switching from coal to natural gas. This has driven the biggest changes in Canada (Ontario), the United States, and several other jurisdictions throughout the world.
Q5. What broader economic, technological, or social issues do you foresee as a result of the transition to a net-zero economy in Canada? Do you have suggestions on how to address these issues?
- A low-carbon economy is desirable, but if the implemented policies make life unaffordable for families, we risk losing Canadian’s willingness to act to meet the challenge.
- Access to reliable and affordable energy is essential for maintaining Canadian’s high standard of living.
- Jobs in natural gas and oil extraction are some of the highest-paying and most productive jobs in the country – the resource sector is Canada’s competitive advantage. It is not credible to have an approach that assumes the wind-down and replacement of our largest industry, which has Canada’s most economically productive jobs and is the driver of foreign investment in Canada. The focus needs to be on emissions.
- A lower carbon economy should be a source of opportunity that leverages the knowhow of Canada’s skilled workers in the development and implementation of technologies that can be advanced domestically and globally to reduce emissions.
- To make this happen, industry needs to be healthy, and have a business environment conducive to development and attractive for investment.
Section 3: Ongoing Engagement on Canada’s Emissions Reduction Plans
Q6. How would you like to be engaged on Canada’s climate plans moving forward? How often should this engagement occur, and what method or format would be preferable?
- It would be appreciated if the consultations were longer than 4 weeks.