Pembina Institute response on development of a net-zero scenario in the next Canada’s Energy Future reportSubmitted to the Canada Energy Regulator

Publication - July 8, 2022 - By Janetta McKenzie

The Canada Energy Regulator (CER) has announced that its next Canada's Energy Future report - an annual report which explores possible future energy scenarios in Canada over the long term - will include modelling consistent with Canada’s commitment to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

According to the CER, the report and net-zero scenario analysis will have the following parameters:

  • Consistent with Canada achieving net-zero emissions by 2050;
  • Inclusion of fully modelled scenarios of supply and demand for all energy commodities in Canada;
  • Consistent with a global context in which the world achieves its Paris Accord goal of limiting warming to 1.5°C; and
  • Inclusion of relevant uncertainties, including future trends in low-carbon technology and energy markets.

In June 2022, the CER requested feedback on this proposed change to its modelling. This document comprises Pembina Institute’s response to the CER's feedback questions.  

Summary of response

  • Canada has committed to achieving economy-wide net-zero emissions by 2050, but does not yet have an energy scenario that is aligned with achieving that goal domestically and globally. A net-zero energy scenario is needed.
  • Canada’s climate and energy transition policies will only be effective if they are grounded in credible and transparent scenarios that model the energy future Canada is seeking to achieve. The Canada Energy Regulator’s mandate to fully model a net-zero scenario for Canada is an opportunity to align with the International Energy Agency’s landmark Net Zero by 2050 report, which lays out a roadmap for the global energy sector to meet the goal of limiting global warming to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius.
  • A net-zero scenario for Canada will provide a foundational tool that can be used to assess government spending, policies, and programs along with proposed infrastructure projects to ensure that the decisions being made today are consistent with a climate-safe world. This scenario can also provide a credible basis for developing sector-specific targets and net-zero pathways.
  • Similarly, a Paris Accord-compliant energy scenario will provide essential data for Canadian businesses and investors seeking to assess climate risk, help plan for a just transition, and educate Canadians about the scale and nature of the energy transition.


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