There is a complicated relationship between Canada, oil and gas, and the fight against climate change.
According to C.A.P.P. (The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers), Canada has the world’s largest oil reserves, contributing about $105 billion to Canada’s gross domestic product (G.D.P.), 400,00 jobs.
It averages $10 billion in annual revenue for provincial and federal governments. That $10 billion goes to building roads, schools, and hospitals, and the industry pays $8 billion in taxes. However, greenhouse gases and fossil fuels that come from the production and use of oil are the leading cause of Climate Change.
Countries all around the world have been seeing the effects of climate change. Temperatures are rising, species of endangered animals are dying, and illnesses are spreading.
The good news is that with technological and intellectual advancements, people are coming up with new ways to fight climate change, such as using renewable energy. However, Canada needs its robust oil and gas industry, causing them to find safer and cleaner ways to use its resources. It is a delicate balance between combating climate change and continuing Canada’s oil production for the economy.
Oil production in Canada comes from Oil Sands, mainly found in Alberta, offshore Newfoundland, and Labrador. Oil Sands are deposits of crude oil, a mix of sand, water, clay, and bitumen, a type of thick oil. These oil sands can be found around the world. However, Canada houses the most extensive deposits, with about 6 billion barrels of reserves.
While Canada has the largest deposits, their impact is not what people may think. According to C.A.P.P., Canada only contributes to less than 1.5% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. Out of that, 0.3% is from the oil and gas industry.
Although Canada’s contribution may not be as high as other countries, they are coming up with innovations and strategies to keep greenhouse gas emissions to a minimum. Many regulations and rules are set in place around gas and oil production. One of those is the Alberta Environmental and parks. It deals with:
- application and exploration
- construction and development
- abandonment, reclamation, and remediation
There is also industry monitoring in place that watches the emissions from production.
The C.A.P.P. acknowledges the importance and needs for oil and gas and the climate change situation. They say they are using innovation and technology to reduce their impact on the climate. Their plan to decrease greenhouse gas emissions contains three key factors. Enhance energy, the Canadian Natural Resources, and Quest C.C.S.
Enhance energy is a technique to gather oil, and by using this, it decreases the production of emissions by 60%. For Canadian Natural Resources, $3.1 billion was put into research and technology for ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Lastly, Quest C.C.S. has stored five million tons of Carbon Dioxide. Since 1990, Greenhouse gas emissions have decreased by 34%.
In addition, Canada has developed Canadian Liquified Natural Gas (L.N.G.). This product will decrease carbon dioxide by 40% if used for electricity. Although newer, it is estimated to add $2.4 billion towards G.D.P., 10,00 more jobs, and provide an annual revenue for the government.
While climate change is becoming more and more real, Canada is using innovative and intelligent ways to continue its oil and gas production.