Oil Sands


Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) today released the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan (the Plan) under the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act (the Act; read our earlier bulletin on the Act here). The Plan sets out current actions, additional funding of $9.1B, and several new initiatives to meet Canada’s emissions reduction target of 40-45% below 2005 levels by 2030, as provided last year in an update to Canada’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement (read our earlier bulletin on Canada’s updated NDC targets here).   The Plan also sets a new interim objective of reducing GHGs by 20% below 2005 levels by 2026, noting that this interim objective is not an official target akin to Canada’s 2030 NDC, but that progress towards achieving the objective will be a cornerstone of progress reports associated with the Plan in 2023, 2025, and 2027.   This bulletin highlights key parts of the Plan and summarizes the newly announced funding and initiatives, across the following categories: Carbon pricing Clean fuels Clean growth funding Methane Buildings Electricity Heavy industry Oil and gas Transportation Agriculture Waste Nature-based solutions Clean technology and climate innovation Sustainable finance Jobs, skills, and communities Prime Minister Justin Trudeau launched the Plan in an address at the GLOBE Forum in Vancouver earlier today.  Carbon pricing. The Plan notes the measures undertaken to address economy-wide emissions including the federal fuel charge and the Output-Based Pricing System for industrial emitters under the Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act. Escalating the federal benchmark price to $170 by 2030 is meant to further support the 2030 targets of the federal government along with continued consultations on a possible border carbon adjustment (read our earlier bulletin here). Very significantly, the Plan puts forward the concept of investment approaches, like carbon contracts for differences, which enshrine future price levels in contracts between the federal government and low-carbon…

Five of Canada’s largest oil sands producers operating 90% of oil sands production, including Suncor Energy, Canadian Natural Resources, Cenovus Energy, Imperial, and MEG Energy, today announced the Oil Sands Pathways to Net Zero initiative (the Initiative). The Initiative aims to work collectively with the federal and Albertan governments to reach net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from Canadian oil sands operations by 2050 and help Canada to meet its Paris Agreement and 2050 net zero commitments.  This bulletin provides key highlights from the announcement. Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage. The Initiative proposes collaborating with industry and government to create a Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS) CO2 trunkline system connecting oil sands facilities in the Fort McMurray and Cold Lake regions to a sequestration hub in Cold Lake with the potential for future links to the Edmonton region, modeled on similar systems in Norway and CCUS projects in the Netherlands, U.K., and U.S. Investment. The Initiative will require significant investment by industry and government in research and development for new and emerging technologies, such as direct air capture, aimed at reducing and removing GHG emissions as well as deploying GHG reduction technology, including hydrogen, process improvements, energy efficiency, fuel switching, and electrification. Indigenous Partnerships. The Initiative will seek to partner and work with the federal and Alberta governments, to ensure that local Indigenous communities benefit from both emissions reductions and Canadian resource development. For further information or to discuss the contents of this bulletin, please contact Lisa DeMarco at lisa@resilientllp.com.