In its current form, Canada’s oil and gas industry is incompatible with a net-zero future and represents the single biggest emissions challenge for policymakers. In addition to accelerating climate change, oil and gas extraction is responsible for billions of dollars in environmental degradation.
While a major driver of economic growth and Canada’s largest source of export earnings, the oil and gas industry makes up the largest share of Canada’s GHG emissions. Although Canada is increasingly determined to act to address climate change, some regions remain heavily dependent on fossil fuel extraction.
Three elements could help the sector move toward net zero: reducing production emissions to net zero while continuing to produce traditional fossil fuels; exploiting hydrocarbons in novel ways by developing net-zero emission energy products; and abandoning hydrocarbons for energy production and focusing on materials and/or alternative energy resources.