Jason Switzer joined the Pembina Institute in April 2011, after nearly a decade in international development and in corporate environmental management with positions including environmental excellence advisor at Cenovus Energy Inc. and senior greenhouse gas engineer at Shell Canada Oil Sands. His areas of expertise are in business–ENGO partnering, carbon management and facilitation. In his previous role at the Pembina Institute, he co-led the national consulting team, through which he managed multi-stakeholder processes for clients including Shell, TOTAL, Suncor, the shale gas sector and its stakeholders, and the Canadian Hydropower Association.
Jason holds master's degrees in environmental engineering and in public policy from MIT and is a Harvard-trained environmental mediator, an alumnus of Leadership Calgary, and a fellow at the World Commission on Dams. He is a board member of the Alberta Clean Technology Industry Alliance. Publications include the book Conserving the Peace: Resources Livelihoods and Security (IISD, 2002); conflict mitigation guidance tools for business and development practitioners; opportunities for renewable energy investment by the oil and gas sector; and links between environmental management systems, independent certification and performance improvement.
Jason Switzer is available for speaking engagements.
Jason Switzer's Recent Publications
As natural gas flaring increases in Alberta, it is encouraging that the Alberta Energy Regulator seems to be taking action. Using natural gas in vehicles is a partial solution in the offing that could yield dividends all around.
Energy companies are doubling down on oil, even as the likelihood of government action on climate change has never been higher. If local leaders like Cenovus are getting out of the renewables game, what does that mean for the oil and gas sector’s ability to proactively adapt to a carbon-constrained world?
I had the privilege to spend some time a few weeks ago at the Canadian Geothermal Energy Association’s annual conference, where one participant described geothermal as Canada’s ‘have not’ renewable energy industry. The 'have not' label is appropriate, since there are no existing commercial geothermal electricity projects in Canada, and limited to no geothermal-specific government support. Where Canadian geothermal companies have been successful is, surprisingly, everywhere but Canada.
At first glance, pairing renewable energy with the oil and gas sector would seem an unlikely match. But behind the curtain, romance could be blooming. As Canadians come to recognize that meaningful and cost-effective climate action may be the key to unlocking market access for oilsands, the appetite for an even-tighter union between these star-crossed industries could be just around the corner.
A group of leading companies engaged with the Pembina Institute in 2012 to review the history of renewable energy activity in the oil and gas sector, share experiences, extract the opportunities, barriers and enablers, and draw some conclusions for how to move this area forward.