Technological innovation key to Canada’s action plan on climate

November 20, 2015 - Calgary, Alberta
Canada can become a world leader on climate action through a united commitment to technology and innovation, and continue to develop its oil and natural gas sector responsibly to provide the energy the world needs, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) said today.

“Our industry shares the concern of many Canadians about climate change – and Canadians can count on us to do our part for Canada,” said Tim McMillan, CAPP president and chief executive officer, ahead of the 2015 Paris Climate Conference. 

“Our industry developed the technology to get the oil out of the sand, and we will develop the technology to take carbon out of the barrel. We know we can do more and we will do more.”

Technological innovation and effective public policies are the keys to reducing emissions while growing the oil and natural gas sector to create jobs and sustain a robust economy.

“Future action on climate change by industry and governments rests on a strong foundation, and together we will build on it aggressively,” McMillan said. “The ingenuity of the engineers working in Canada’s oil and gas sector is world class, and the technologies they develop for use here at home can be exported to countries with less environmental expertise.”

Examples of technological innovation industry is already pursuing to reduce emissions intensity further include pilot projects that use solvents in oil sands in situ operations, and projects that use carbon capture and storage technology.

Environment Canada reports that emissions per barrel of oil produced from the oil sands are down 30 per cent from 1990 levels.

Canada’s oil sands producers are also investing more than $1.2 billion on 814 technologies and best practices through Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance to find innovative solutions to reduce greenhouse gases, minimize impact on land, reduce water use and improve tailings management.

In Alberta, existing carbon policies require industry to reduce GHG emissions over the life of large projects or pay into a technology fund.

“Alberta’s $15 price on carbon is set to double to $30 per tonne by 2017,” McMillan said. “These funds will accelerate research and development and could invest more than $1 billion over 10 years into GHG-reducing technologies. That’s real and tangible progress for Canada.”

McMillan will represent CAPP at the 2015 Paris Climate Conference to provide constructive input into how Canada’s governments can develop effective policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“The leadership, commitment and partnership of government, industry and the public will help Canada create the innovative technologies to lower emissions while enhancing Canada’s global competitiveness,” McMillan said.

“Environmental protection, including action on climate change, and the economic benefits from our oil and natural gas resources are not mutually exclusive. Both can be achieved. That’s the message I intend to bring to Paris.”