The world has changed. Canada needs to change along with it.
Canada can no longer allow our domestic energy policy to be guided by a singular focus on reducing domestic emissions from our country’s oil and natural gas industry. Don’t get me wrong, reducing Canada’s emissions is necessary – Canadians want environmental action.
But we can no longer allow the social and human policies of oil producing autocrats to be relegated as secondary priorities as we work to reduce global emissions.
Policy matters. Energy security matters.
Last year, when the International Energy Agency (IEA) released its report Net Zero by 2050: A roadmap for the Global Energy Sector, much attention was paid to the claim no new oil and natural gas projects were needed in the proposed pathway.
“For oil, the OPEC share of a much-reduced global oil supply increases from 37% in recent years to 52% in 2050, a level higher than at any point in the history of oil markets”
International Energy Agency – Net Zero by 2050: A Roadmap for the Global Energy Sector
But little attention was paid to the fact that the IEA went on to state: “oil and natural gas supplies become increasingly concentrated in a small number of low-cost producers. For oil, the OPEC share of a much-reduced global oil supply increases from around 37% in recent years to 52% in 2050, a level higher than at any point in the history of oil markets.”
Last October, the U.S. Energy Information Agency released an analysis that predicted Russia will more than double its natural exports through 2050 to remain the world’s largest exporter of natural gas.
In 2021, for many in Canada, Russia and OPEC dominating the global natural gas and oil market was acceptable so long as we continued to reduce Canada’s emissions. But in 2022, the brutal reality of energy security has never been more apparent.
As Canadians, are we still okay with allowing Russian domination of the global energy market?
Canada has some of the world’s largest reserves of oil and natural gas in the world. This should be a privilege we share, not a burden to be admonished.
Or do we have a moral obligation to do everything in our power to ensure Canada – and countries who share our values – are the ones supplying the world’s energy?