Managing Canada’s Oil Future: Beyond Fossil Fuels and The Pathway to 2050
Summer 2017 • Tar Sands, Alberta Province, Canada
Stand.earth (formerly Forest Ethics) is part of a Tar Sands Oil Advisory Group engaged in dialogs between the oil industry, non-governmental environmental organizations and government aimed at charting a course toward the managed decline of the fossil fuel industry.
The combination of a decline in the price of a barrel of oil brought on by competition from natural gas, a liberal provincial government that has put a price on carbon, and some leading oil companies that now see inevitable decline in the Tar Sands oil market, has led to a unique opportunity to plan for a path beyond oil.
This is the first time that a governmental jurisdiction of this scale, in one of the world’s leading oil producing countries, has started to work on this transition. Because of this, other countries and global institutions are paying close attention to what happens in Alberta. Some know they may have to manage similar transitions in the future. Policy analysts in China, Vietnam, Venezuela and other countries have been watching, and the World Bank is making an informational video on the process for global distribution.
The group includes representatives of oil companies that work in the Tar Sands (Royal Dutch Shell, Suncor Energy, Conoco Phillips, CNRL, and Cenovus), leading environmental organizations (Stand.earth, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, Pembina and Environmental Defense), and the Canadian government.
The group will develop the legislation for an emissions cap, identify ways to ameliorate the local and regional impacts of the Tar Sands on the environment and local communities, and outline a Pathway to 2050 to meet the Canadian target of an 80% reduction in carbon emissions from 2005 levels by 2050.
Blackstone Ranch Institute provided a grant to Stand.earth to support their work in the advisory group, and to make sure that environmental concerns are honored in ways that make the transition viable for both the environment and the oil industry.