As energy consumers around the world look to the future with unease, Canadians increasingly find themselves in a unique position. We can actually do something about energy shortages, here and abroad.
But that’s only possible if we find the political will to take up the challenge.
There’s already increased willingness in Ottawa to allow expanded Canadian energy exports through the coming year. As the world moves toward 2023, that’s welcome news.
If you’ve been watching the media, you’ll know that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Deputy PM Chrystia Freeland and Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson have each recently made public their wishes for Canada’s energy and natural resources sectors to help meet world demand.
Without doubt, this evolution in federal sentiment towards Canadian energy and other natural resources comes at a critical time for global energy security and the environment.
These statements underline a fact that’s crucial to Canada Action: The world benefits when more Canadian energy and other natural resource products – not less – are traded on the world market.
Canadians know the country’s energy sector is committed to improving its environmental initiatives while Canada retains reliable access to energy in all its forms.
A poll conducted mid-September for Canada Action by Research Co. questioned 1,000 adults online across Canada and found strong support for Canadian energy. More than half thought it wrong for Canada to forfeit energy opportunities to other countries with higher greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, when thinking about liquid natural gas (LNG).
Seventy-five per cent agreed exporting responsible, reliable Canadian energy, expertise and technology to reduce global GHG emissions is one way Canada can play an important role in addressing climate action.
And more than three-in-five Canadians agreed investing in Canada’s oil and gas sector makes sense if you value climate leadership, social progress and transparency.
But in spite of growing support among Canadians, the fact remains that, with only one exception, almost 20 LNG projects proposed for Canada’s West Coast have been left behind. Meanwhile, Argentina, Mexico, the U.S., Australia, the UAE, Nigeria, Qatar and others are moving ahead with expanded exports – ultimately at the expense of Canadian market share.
The good news is that Canada’s national will is finally catching up with public sentiment. Canadians know we have a crucial role to play in energy security and sustainability, worldwide.
Canada’s LNG GHG emissions will be the lowest on the planet, our environment and human rights regulations are among the world’s most stringent, and our Indigenous communities want to move their energy projects ahead.
So here’s to 2023. Let’s keep pushing for expanded projects, good Canadian jobs, a reduction in our cost of living and increased Canadian prosperity.
Cody Battershill is a Calgary realtor and founder / spokesperson for CanadaAction.ca, a volunteer-initiated group that supports Canadian energy development and the environmental, social and economic benefits that come with it.