A new report by the International Energy Agency has found that the oil and gas industry needs to step up its efforts to properly address the climate crisis.
“No energy company will be unaffected by clean energy transitions,” commented Fatih Birol, executive director of the IEA. “Every part of the industry needs to consider how to respond. Doing nothing is simply not an option.”
The difficulty being faced by energy companies is the concurrent rise of two competing goals: 1) Generating enough power to meet the energy requirements of the modern world; 2) Lowering carbon emissions sufficiently within the parameters of eco targets, such as those set in the Paris Agreement.
Canada is part of the solution
With the report estimating that 66% of the global emissions growth is due to the energy sector, the Canadian industry has been quick to respond with the positive steps it is taking to address the issue.
In a recent article, Terry Abel, executive VP for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), stated that “Canada’s oil and natural gas industry is already at the forefront of developing and implementing the technology necessary.”
Calling the country an international leader in the fight against climate change, he said that “the Canadian industry is part of the solution,” and would take the report seriously.
Responses of the top three Canadian energy companies
Enbridge: The largest energy company in Canada with a market cap of CA$98.06bn, Enbridge makes a clear pledge to integrate sustainability on its website, “we take seriously our responsibility to deliver it to where it’s needed, safely and reliably, today and well into the future. Sustainability is—and has to be—core to how we do business.”
The company’s climate policy focuses on reducing its carbon footprint, increasing energy efficiency, and developing frameworks to help measure and track sustainability goals.
Suncor: The President and CEO of Suncor, Mark Little, states that the sustainability practices within the company are already well under way. “Globally, we are beginning to transform our energy system towards a low-carbon economy. We believe Suncor has an important role to play in that transition and that innovation will be critical to our success.”
In addition to strengthening relationships with indigenous communities, Suncor has also pledged to reduce 30% of its emissions by 2030.
TC Energy Corporation: Seeing the challenge before the industry as a quest to meet the world’s energy needs in an “economically, environmentally and socially responsible manner,” TC Energy has stated that it is not content to merely be part of the solution; it wants to lead the change.
“We believe that North America should be the world’s energy supplier of choice,” said Russ Girling, President and CEO. “We are leaders when it comes to stringent regulatory standards, deep respect for environmental stewardship, human rights and responsible development.”
The company claims that 47% of its generated power comes from emission-free sources. TC Energy has also made a commitment to protecting water supplies, land and wildlife throughout its operations.
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