Clearing the air on oilsands emissionsThe facts about greenhouse gas pollution from oilsands development

Publication - Nov. 23, 2012 - By Marc Huot, Jennifer Grant

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.


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