Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage: It's Time to Act

22 Jul 2020

The Energy Future Forum is pleased to release its first policy position paper on Canada's quest for a clean energy future that meets environmental and economic goals. It calls on the federal government to immediately lend support to the development and implementation of Canadas unique Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage technology.

The Energy Future Forum is a collaboration of Government, Industry and NGO's. In this inaugural paper, the signatories explore how Canada could reach our Paris commitments while optimizing our energy sector for clean energy growth.

The paper, entitled Energy Future Forum: Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage. The Time is Now, is the first of many to come and is an example of how stakeholders are coming together to make policy recommendations to all levels of government. It is a collaboration between industry and NGOs to recommend comprehensive strategic policies to governments in order for Canada to achieve climate targets and shift to a low-carbon economy.

"It is critical that Canada maintain and advance its leadership position in carbon capture. It must be understood as part of a broader strategy to sustain our comparative advantage as a leading energy-exporting nation and reliable, responsible resource developer. Our commitment to the ongoing reduction of emissions and the attainment of the highest levels of the environment, social and governance standards and performance, must be evidenced in our industry activities. This carbon capture policy initiative points to a serious opportunity for government and industry collaboration."

Mac Van Wielingen, Founder and Partner, ARC Financial Corp.

By combining cutting-edge environmental innovation with Canada's comparative advantage as an energy-exporting nation will allow Canada to achieve or exceed our climate targets. Canada can make a significant impact in response to climate change and has the tools and the expertise to boldly move towards a clean energy future. The partnership cements Canada's commitment to an innovative future economy, shared prosperity and national unity.

The first Energy Future Forum position paper notes that if Canada aims to meet its 2030 climate change objective and establish a plan to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, CCUS, including direct air capture (DAC) and other developing technologies, will play an integral role. CCUS technology has a proven 90% capture rate of the CO2 produced from the use of fossil fuels in electricity generation and industrial processes. The captured carbon is sequestered underground, either as part of enhanced oil recovery (EOR) or stored in geological formations. It can also produce valuable products such as carbon fibre and other low or emission-free fuels.

Support for CCUS expansion is more pivotal than ever before. As a resource and energy-producing nation committed to emission reductions goals, Canada's economic future hinges on these natural assets as part of a low (an eventually net zero) emissions, clean energy strategy. For Canada to lead in CCUS, an industry-civil society-government collaboration will be needed to spur innovation and make investments competitive with those available in the United States and elsewhere. 

The Energy Future Forum's recommendations include:

  • Clear signals from the federal and provincial governments that carbon capture and direct air carbon capture, utilization and storage are integral components of our climate change policy framework and a low-carbon export strategy;
  • Federal tax policy in the next Budget that combined with climate change policies meets or exceeds the U.S. measures such as 45Q and a result, will attract private sector investment in both carbon capture and direct air capture, utilization and storage. Currently, we are not incenting Canadian companies with the know-how to invest here. As a result, they go abroad to find opportunities, and in the process fail to optimize our emissions reductions;
  • Federal and provincial governments working together to establish stackable tax credits and the creation of a CCUS fund that will help leverage private sector investment into the three streams of carbon capture.
  • Canada Infrastructure Bank standards that reward carbon reduction strategies, including carbon capture and storage, in the allocation of capital;
  • Federal and provincial governments working together to build on existing expertise to implement a strong regulatory framework to minimize the risk of leaks, monitor movement of the carbon dioxide (CO2) and address outstanding issues such as the ownership of pore space and long-term liability of carbon storage;
  • Creation of financing vehicles, such as "green" transition bonds, public-private partnerships and equity investments by the federal and provincial governments, and the Canadian Infrastructure Bank, to help attract private investment into the CCUS sector.

The Energy Future Forum urges the federal government, as part of its Paris targets, to build on its carbon pricing policies and take the lead in working with carbon-intensive industries and provincial governments in putting this agenda into action. Levelling the playing field through a 45Q tax credit equivalent is a good place to start both in furthering climate targets and a low-carbon export economy.

The following members have endorsed the first Energy Forum Position Paper:

Canadian LNG Alliance 
Canadian Natural Resources Limited 
Cenovus Energy 
Ed Whittingham 
Evok Innovations 
GE Canada 
Husky Energy 
Imperial Oil 
Ivey Foundation 
Mac Van Wielingen 
MEG Energy 
Michelle Adams 
Nuclear Innovation Institute 
Pembina Institute 
Peter Tertzakian 
Shell Canada 
Suncor Energy 
Sustainable Development Technology Canada 
TC Energy Corporation 
Toronto Region Board of Trade 
Total E&P Canada 
Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy, University of Waterloo

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