Shared Future: Answering the ‘how’ on the pipeline industry

Great questions continue to roll in from Canadians interested in learning more about pipeline infrastructure. Given how important this conversation is, we have put together our thoughts on some of the most common questions we receive in our second Shared Future blog post. We’re listening.

This week it’s all about the ‘how.’


How will continuing to use pipelines impact Canada’s commitment set forth in the Paris Climate Agreement?


The first thing to know is that the targets set out in the Paris Climate Agreement are a global commitment and are not dependent on one nation. In fact, Canada contributes less than two per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions and CEPA members contribute just one per cent of Canada’s total emissions.

Now, that isn’t to say we can’t do better as an industry. Our members continuously look for ways to reduce their emissions impacts across their operations including reducing methane emissions.

Another factor to consider is that by exporting Canadian resources like natural gas, we can help other countries move off more carbon intensive energy sources, thereby reducing their overall emissions.

While the Paris targets might be ambitious, it’s important to note that Canadian energy is produced and transported at a world-class standard and we will continue to lead the way in responsible development.


How close are we as a society, locally and globally, to becoming free of fossil fuel-based energy and products?


We wish we had a crystal ball that could predict this. What we do know is the world is going to need all forms of energy to meet growing global demand. According to the International Energy Agency, global energy demand increased by 2.1 per cent in 2017 alone, and about 70 per cent of that demand was met by oil, natural gas and coal. While the role of renewable energy will continue to expand, from an affordability and reliability perspective, it will take years to significantly displace other energy sources.


How does building more pipelines affect our dependence on fossil fuels?


Right now, one of the biggest barriers to renewable energy is the upfront capital costs for building and installing infrastructure like solar and wind farms. The taxes and royalties paid by the oil and gas industry helps governments provide incentives for green energy research and development. The energy sector already accounts for 11 per cent of nominal Gross Domestic Product. Building more pipelines ensures we have a strong economy now, which will help ensure funds are available to invest in renewables.


Do you have a question you would like us to answer or want to see what other questions people have been sending us? Check out the Your Questions section of our website.