About Pembina

We are working to build an energy system that protects our climate and our communities — one that Canadians can be proud of. We provide our expertise to industry and government leaders, and we advocate for strong, effective provincial and federal policies.

Planning by Pembina staff

Maintaining a healthy environment, a stable climate and prosperous communities requires collaboration, evidence-based decision making and innovative solutions.

That’s what the Pembina Institute is about.

Strategic Direction 2019-2021The Pembina Institute is working to solve today’s greatest energy challenges — reducing the harmful impacts of fossil fuels while supporting the transition to an energy system that is clean, safe and sustains a high quality of life. We provide our expertise to industry and government leaders, and we advocate for a strong, science-based approach to policy, regulation, environmental protection and energy development.

It’s time to transition to cleaner energy systems.

What we do 

As Canada’s go-to source of energy expertise, we provide research, analysis and recommendations to inform policies and practices related to energy. We advocate for approaches that protect our natural systems and communities.

We convene important conversations with thought leaders from industry, government, communities and the environmental sector to identify common ground and move solutions forward.

We present credible and practical perspectives on the role of energy in our society. We ground Canada’s energy conversation in the facts, and we challenge conventional thinking with innovative solutions.

Our guiding principles


To advance a prosperous clean energy future for Canada through credible policy solutions that support communities, the economy and a safe climate.


The Pembina Institute envisions a world in which our needs are met in ways that protect natural ecosystems; ensure clean air, land and water; stop contributing to climate change; and promote a just global community.

Statement of our core values

Climate change threatens everyone. We must come together to evolve how energy is created and consumed through solutions based on equity, curiosity, evidence-based thinking and practicality.

Equal by 30

The Pembina Institute is pleased to be a signatory of Natural Resources Canada’s Equal by 30 campaign, a public commitment to work towards equal pay, equal leadership and equal opportunities for women in the clean energy sector by 2030. When we think about Canada’s clean energy transition, we need to make sure that the transformation happens in a way that is not only innovative and capable of meeting society’s need for energy, but also considers equity. Read more about our commitments here.

Our path towards Reconciliation and prioritizing Indigenous leadership

For nearly 35 years, the Pembina Institute has worked with industry and all levels of government, including Indigenous governments, to help build a clean energy future that protects our climate, and the cities and communities we live in. Equity is one of the Institute’s core values and we believe that good climate and energy policy must also be good community policy. Yet we realize an increased effort is necessary on our part to truly live out these values. This is especially evident when we consider how our work as a national organization on the front lines of climate change is impacting Indigenous Peoples in what is now called Canada.

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Indigenous communities in Canada — especially those in remote and Northern regions — are extremely vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and are already experiencing negative impacts to their land, culture and way of life as a result of these changes. Two centuries of colonial policies, laws and suppression of Indigenous Peoples have created the ugly realities of intergenerational trauma and racism that continue to overpower Indigenous voices and rights. 

In our work to reduce carbon emissions and pollution to the land, water, and air, we believe in taking a pragmatic, evidence-based approach to advancing effective policies and regulations. We advocate for solutions that build resilient, healthy communities and provide a just transition away from fossil fuels. We recognize that Reconciliation efforts with Indigenous Peoples are vital to healing the past so we can work together to ensure a healthy future for the land and all living beings. We must also acknowledge that we are still a largely non-Indigenous organization, and enhance our understanding of what role we need to play in supporting leadership, sharing our policy expertise, and upholding the principles and frameworks of reconciliation so we can move further towards positive, inclusive, and effective action.

Thanks to strong voices of Indigenous leadership asking all of us to address and confront our shared history, there is a renewed momentum in Canada towards the notions of reconciliation and decolonization, encouraged in part by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP), and Canada’s Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). As a result of these works, awareness among Canadians has increased over recent years, and in parallel we are witnessing a strong resurgence of Indigenous voice, culture and leadership. In addition, the Government of British Columbia recently tabled a bill on Indigenous rights. Once passed, the province will be the first in Canada to legally implement UNDRIP into law.

Many of these Indigenous leaders and champions are now taking bold steps to place themselves at the forefront of climate action, and to power their communities with renewable, local energy sources. There is much that all Canadians can learn from the wisdom, experience and momentum being demonstrated in Indigenous communities, which have existed sustainably on the land we call home for thousands of years. In order for us to successfully transition to a clean economy, we must look to the Indigenous community for leadership and guidance.

We have worked with Indigenous communities throughout our history, supporting energy literacy, capacity building, energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Moving forward, our work is becoming more focused on encouraging policies that strengthen local clean energy initiatives, shift colonial policies and practices that restrict self-determination in Indigenous communities, and support energy autonomy in these communities. This will be a long journey, but we are taking the first steps. We are currently in the second phase of our efforts over the past year to advance our own reconciliation process. Our Reconciliation Working Group, in collaboration with our Indigenous strategist, is developing a Reconciliation Action Plan for the organization, working closely with our staff and board of directors.

We will continue to listen, engage and deepen relationships with Indigenous communities on the energy issues we work on. We will take direction from guiding documents such as UNDRIP and the TRC Principles of Truth and Reconciliation, as well as from Indigenous Peoples and communities that we work directly with. We will strive to be in right relations with First Nations, Inuit and Métis in this country, and ensure our focus on climate and energy incorporates Indigenous rights and issues into our processes and strategic thinking. Ultimately, recognizing the critical role and placement Indigenous People have in our shared history and future, we aim to make the Pembina Institute a strong and beneficial voice of allyship with Indigenous Peoples as Canada continues its path towards a clean energy future.

Where we come from

Lodgepole gas blowout 1982Three decades ago, the Pembina Institute was formed following a major sour gas incident in Alberta. The Lodgepole blowout killed two people and polluted the air for weeks. The event was largely the result of poorly regulated energy development. 

In response, a small group of rural Albertans came together to secure tougher regulations for drilling sour gas wells. Those regulations were implemented province-wide.

The core members of that group went on to form the Pembina Institute.  

Since then, our work has expanded outside Alberta, but our focus remains the same: We push industries and governments to go beyond the bare minimum to manage the impacts of energy development, and we advocate for those improvements to be embedded in provincial and federal policy.

Learn more about our 30-year journey.

Where we work

Our staff work on regional energy priorities and major national energy-related issues.


Founded in Drayton Valley following the 1982 Amoco Lodgepole sour gas blowout, the Pembina Institute knows Alberta. We understand the province’s unique energy challenges: Alberta has Canada’s largest conventional and unconventional oil and gas reserves, and it also relies on fossil fuels to produce the majority of its electricity (although the province is rapidly moving away from coal-fired power stations, natural gas remains a key component of Alberta’s electricity grid). As a result, Alberta pumps out more carbon pollution than any other province in Canada.

Our work in Alberta aims to change that. We advocate for science-based limits on fossil fuel development, and replacing the use of unabated fossil fuels in Alberta’s grid with clean energy technologies. With world-class wind, solar and geothermal resources, Alberta has the potential to lead the nation in renewable energy generation.

Alberta is the first province to have put a price on carbon pollution. The money collected through this carbon price or levy feeds a technology fund, but this approach has room for improvement. More of that fund could be used for development of renewable power, including within the oil and gas sector. Opportunities to increase energy efficiency in the province are also plentiful — in fact, our research shows that investing in energy efficiency could save the province $29 billion and 176 Mt of carbon pollution in 15 years. We are also a founding member of the Alberta Energy Efficiency Alliance.

British Columbia

British Columbia has taken significant steps in the transition to cleaner energy. The province combines innovative building solutions with an advanced clean energy technology sector and world-class climate policies.

But B.C. is at a crossroad. Pursuing a liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry has the potential to drastically increase B.C.’s carbon pollution with significant implications for clean land, air and water.

Our work in B.C. explores solutions that can help the province remain an economically competitive climate leader. For LNG this means encouraging responsible development that considers the big picture: from wells to waterline and beyond. The outreach we do on innovative building solutions strives to develop standards that will make B.C. home to the cleanest building industry in North America. The carbon pricing work we undertake seeks to expose the benefits of B.C.’s world-renowned carbon tax. Our clean energy technology research encourages robust development of the sector in B.C. for domestic use and export.  


As the first province to phase out coal-fired power, Ontario has shown great leadership on reducing carbon pollution. Wind, solar and biomass-fuelled electricity now increasingly contribute to the province’s grid. However, as Ontario’s population grows, transportation has become the province’s largest and fastest-growing source of carbon pollution. 

Without the appropriate policies in place, many cities in Ontario will continue to sprawl while their roads and highways become more and more congested. This has serious implications for clean air and climate change.

In Greater Toronto, the Pembina Institute is investigating new and innovative policies that encourage location-efficient development, where residents can walk or cycle to workplaces, amenities and rapid transit, rather than depending on a car.

This will give people the choice to live closer to where they work and play.


Many of the regional energy priorities we work on also have a national component — particularly when local or regional outcomes are influenced by federal policies and regulations, or when one region’s experiences could offer important insight into solutions for other cities, provinces or the country as a whole.

We aim to leverage regional successes to help other jurisdictions across Canada transition to cleaner energy. Promoting the shift to an energy system that meets the needs and desires of Canadians without compromising a safe and healthy environment is important to us. We also advocate for federal laws and regulations that reduce the negative impacts of fossil fuel development. 

At the Pembina Institute we are working to build an energy system that protects our climate and our communities — one that Canadians can be proud of.  

Help us make it happen! 


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