Pembina Institute

Clearing the air on oilsands emissions

The facts about greenhouse gas pollution from oilsands development

Clearing the air on oilsands emissions

Published Nov. 23, 2012

By Jennifer Grant, Marc Huot

This backgrounder provides an overview of how oilsands production and expansion contributes to greenhouse gas pollution and climate change, focusing on six key issues:

  • Average oilsands production is significantly more greenhouse gas-intensive than conventional oil production.
  • Oilsands are the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions in Canada.
  • Alberta’s greenhouse gas regulations do not result in meaningful reductions in emissions from oilsands operations.
  • Large-scale carbon capture and storage for oilsands emissions is unlikely due to high capital cost and lack of regulatory driver.
  • Oilsands expansion is a significant barrier to Canada meeting its 2020 climate commitment.
  • Rising greenhouse gas pollution from the oilsands is at odds with Canada’s international climate change commitments and the global need to make deep reductions to emissions.

Learn more: Backgrounder

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