Balancing Priorities: Canadian Controversy

Tags: Canada

Feb 14, 2023

Canadian Controversy

Canada has some of the strictest rules on methane emission in the world and is building a comprehensive framework for measuring and reducing the scale of methane emissions.

Canadian producers are already achieving lower methane emissions through equipment improvements, leak prevention, gas capture, and cutbacks in flaring and venting. Industry innovations such as solar-powered pumps and tracking software are steadily decreasing methane emissions.

The IEA estimates global emissions may be 70% higher than reported: China, India, the United States, Russia, and Brazil are the top emitters, responsible for half of global methane emissions. Canada is listed as the 14th highest emitting country. Based on reported volumes, the oil and gas sector produced 38% of Canadian methane emissions in 2020.

Accuracy Counts: Measuring Methane

Methane reporting tools and technologies do not always provide accurate and timely information. An accurate, comprehensive monitoring system (mobile ground, drone, airplane, and satellite sensors) is critical to understand and address global methane emissions.

Canada is building a regulatory framework for methane detection and elimination. The proposed changes include equipment upgrades, gas capture, flaring restrictions, and expanding inspection programs in order to develop a “comprehensive, nationally-consistent emission monitoring and reporting system.”

Some provinces with significant energy production are seeking to manage regulatory changes at the province level – Saskatchewan First Act, CleanBC, Alberta. Provincial leaders are pushing back against federal regulations that seem intent on shuttering oil and gas production and employment. Until renewable sources are reliable and cost-efficient, Canada and nations around the globe will continue to depend on responsibly produced Canadian energy.

Canada is part of several international initiatives:

Canada’s federal Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act and 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan are intended to reach emissions reduction targets of 40% (from 2005 levels) by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050. The plan will invest $9.1 billion in new investments to slash pollution and boost the economy.

Plan priorities:

  • Facilitation of electric vehicle usage
  • Building retrofits and code updates
  • Industrial-level clean technology and transition to net-zero emissions
    • Incentives for clean technologies and fuels (carbon capture, utilization, and storage)
  • Clean grid
    • Development of a Clean Electricity Standard
    • Investment ($850 million) in renewable energy projects
    • Grid net-zero emissions by 2035 with reliable, affordable power
  • Reducing oil and gas emissions
    • Net-zero emissions by 2050
    • Methane emissions reductions of 75% by 2030
    • Jobs creation
  • Supporting agricultural sustainability
  • Funding community climate projects
  • Protecting natural resources

Clean Canadian Energy

Balancing climate concerns while recognizing real-world energy demands must be the federal priority. The Canadian oil and gas sector is essential to power the nation and the world: Canadian production is a critical source of clean, dependable, and affordable energy.