The federal government established a Generation Energy consultation process in 2017, to inform an energy policy for a low-carbon future. That process concluded when the appointed Generation Energy Council presented its Report to Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources on June 28. The report, titled Canada’s Energy Transition: Getting to our Energy Future, Together, identifies “four pathways that collectively will lead to the affordable, sustainable energy future”: waste less energy, switch to clean power, use more renewable fuels, and produce cleaner oil and gas. The report outlines concrete actions, milestones for each of these pathways – most problemmatic of which is the pathway cleaner oil and gas. Each pathway also includes a general statement re the “tools” required, giving passing mention to “Skill and Talent Attraction and Development”.
The priorities for the “cleaner oil and gas” pathway include: “reducing emissions per unit of oil or natural gas produced; • improving the cost competitiveness of Canadian oil and gas; and • expanding the scope of value-added oil and gas products and services for both domestic and export markets.” The report lauds the potential of Carbon Capture Use and Storage (CCUS), as well as the economic value of the petrochemical industry. Amongst the milestones in this pathway: “By 2025, reduce methane emissions by 40 to 45 percent from 2012 levels, with ongoing improvements thereafter.. …By 2030, reduce life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions for oil sands extraction to levels lower than competing crudes in global markets…Develop a trusted and effective regulatory system, including a life-cycle approach to greenhouse gas emissions, as measured by objective third party assessment of key attributes relative to competing jurisdictions… By 2030, a more diversified mix of oil and gas products, services and solutions to domestic and global markets has a measurably significant impact on industry and government revenues.”
The Council was co-chaired by Merran Smith (Clean Energy Canada and Simon Fraser University) and Linda Coady (Enbridge Canada); members are listed here . The Council heard from over 380,000 Canadians in an online discussion forum and in person. An impressive archive of submissions and commissioned studies, some previously published and some unique, is available here . Authors include government departments, academics, business and industry associations, and think tanks.