As a Sept. 30 deadline nears, an energy official is encouraging Canadians to have their say on the federal government’s proposed oil and gas sector emissions cap.
Rhona DelFrari, chief sustainability officer and SVP stakeholder engagement with Cenovus says the industry over the years needed not only to be doing what’s right, but they also needed to proclaim their message.
“We needed to be doing what’s right and being very vocal about it. Because we have allowed our opponents; the anti-oil and gas movement to tell our story. What we have done by doing the right thing, but not talking about it, is that we have enabled those who want the entire world to be off of oil, to paint a picture of what the Canadian oil and gas sector is. And it’s not a realistic or truthful image.”
The federal government is proposing to cap GHG emissions from the oil and gas sector to 42 per cent by 2030 using 2019 as the base year. As the deadline to weigh in on the discussion paper approaches, DelFrari sees the difficulty in achieving the target.
“That is a stretch goal beyond any stretch goal that is even realistically possible to achieve, even if you had all the money in the world to do it. The frustrating part about what’s being proposed, is that it is not grounded in the reality of what we are able to do with the technology in the timeframe.”
DelFrari, who was in Lloydminster for the Heavy Oil Show, delivered a presentation on the Pathways Alliance and its quest for net-zero emissions by 2050. She says Cenovus and peer companies are supportive of the need to cut emissions and that’s why they have a plan in place over the next three decades. However, she adds they need to act “in a realistic way and they “can only go so fast when it comes to implementing technology.”
DelFrari continues that consultation is required along with feasibility studies, as well as research and development.
“These things take time and as much as people would like to just snap their fingers and have emissions reductions happen overnight, the reality is, we need to do it in a very robust manner so that we are making the right decisions that are best for the sector and best for Canada overall.”
Turning to the global energy security matter, DelFrari concludes the world will need all energy sources including renewables along with oil and gas.
“We’re having a hard time keeping up with energy demand globally. It’s going to take oil and gas well into the future. It is going to take solar. It is going to take wind. It’s going to need all of it. Those people that believe that oil and gas are not going to be part of it, there is absolutely no data that would indicate that is realistic.”