A “Net-Zero Advisory Body” was created when the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act (Bill C-12) passed into law by Parliament on June 30, 2021. The panel comprises 15 people. Its role is to give advice to the government on climate policy.
On November 1, 2021, the Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault, and the Minister of Natural Resources, Jonathan Wilkinson, sent a letter to the Advisory Body requesting that it provide advice to the government “on our commitment to cap and cut emissions from the oil and gas sector”.
The oil and gas sector is Canada’s largest emitting sector. We are the world’s 4th largest oil producer.
Multiple recent studies released by the International Energy Agency (IEA) and others agree that to give us any realistic chance of keeping the increased warming of the earth’s atmosphere to less than 1.5°C, global oil production must decline 50% below the 2019 level by 2040 and in the order of 75% by 2050.
Yet, in its most recent Canada’s Energy Future 2021 report released on December 9, 2021, the Canada Energy Regulator (CER) projects that Canada’s oil production will continue to increase until at least 2032 (rising 19% above the 2019 level) and is expected to continue at high levels though to 2050.
The two Ministers, Guilbeault and Wilkinson, are proposing “capping and cutting” the amount of emissions during oil production activities in Canada by relying on technologies that they promise will “capture“ or substantially reduce the amount of emissions released per barrel during the extraction process. But Canada plans to continue to increase the total number of barrels of oil we produce.
Environment Minister Guilbeault has stated: “We are not trying to cap production. We will be capping the amount of pollution that comes from those sectors.”
On November 20, 2021, the Advisory Body invited submissions from members of the public. Our Submission to the Advisory Body is that an essential guiding principal that must inform Canada’s climate policy with respect to the oil and gas sector – indeed the fundamental and over-arching principal – is that any climate plan for our oil and gas sector that is truly aligned to meeting the Paris Agreement’s ambition of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5°C must incorporate a plan to “cap production”, substantially reduce oil production by 2030, and achieve deeper production cuts by 2040 in the order of 50% below the 2019 level.
Click the yellow button to get our Submission to the Advisory Body (opens as a PDF in your browser).