Squaring the Carbon Circle

Both advanced and emerging markets are moving inexorably towards a low-carbon future. Yet Canada has no coherent strategy to reduce carbon consumption. Despite coming from very different perspectives a global energy company, a green economy think tank and an investor in the development of natural resources all the contributors in this section agree upon the imperative for change.

Lorraine Mitchelmore is President of Shell Canada Ltd. She also holds the roles of Canada Country Chair and VP Onshore Exploration & Appraisal for Upstream Americas. She has over 25 years of experience in the international oil and gas industry, having started her career on the exploration and production side. Lorraine is a board member of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, the Conference Board of Canada and a member of the Catalyst Canada Board of Advisors. She is also a member of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives.


Lorraine Mitchelmore

The dual global challenges of mitigating climate change and supplying the expected surge in global energy demand are formidable. The two issues are highly integrated and the policy direction adopted for each will impact the other. Canada needs effective and innovative federal policies that will enhance our position as a global energy supplier, broaden our market access to meet global energy demand and at the same time reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Read pages 1-10 in the section PDF

At the same time as working on climate change policies, we must also develop a Canadian energy strategy

We need more objectivity if we are to understand exactly where we are and what we need to do

Stewart Elgie is the founder and chair of Sustainable Prosperity, Canada’s leading green economy think tank and policy-research network. He is also a professor of law and economics at the University of Ottawa and director of the university’s interdisciplinary Environment Institute. In 1991 he founded Ecojustice, now Canada’s largest non-profit environmental law organization, and between 2001 and 2003 was the founding executive director of the multi-stakeholder Canadian Boreal Initiative. In 2001 Stewart was awarded the Law Society of Upper Canada medal for exceptional lifetime contributions to law, its highest honour.

Alex Wood is Senior Director, Policy and Markets at Sustainable Prosperity, Canada’s leading green economy think tank and policy research network. Prior to this he worked as Special Advisor, Corporate Environmental Affairs at TD Bank Financial Group and Acting Chief Executive Officer and President of the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy, where he developed a national program examining the role of fiscal policy in promoting the long-term reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. Alex started his career with the World Wildlife Fund in Washington, D.C..


Stewart Elgie and
Alex Wood

The year 2010 witnessed several historic events, with profound implications for Canada’s economic and environmental future. First, global investment in clean energy capacity surpassed investment in fossil fuel-based capacity for the first time. Overall spending on clean energy has risen by over 500% from 2004 – 2010, to $211 billion. It is projected to grow a further ten-fold by 2020, to reach a total of US$ 2.3 trillion.

Read pages 20-27 in the section PDF

Ian Mallory is President of Pickworth Investments LP, a Calgary-based venture development firm focused on natural resources in the Americas. He has been an executive at three major Canadian power and gas utilities. Prior to that he was Counsel to the Treasury of the World Bank. Ian is a graduate of Harvard, the University of Toronto, and Cambridge, and was called to the bar of Ontario in 1986. He has been an adjunct professor at the law school of Georgetown University and an instructor at the business school at the University of Calgary.


Ian Mallory

As the world struggles to implement an effective regime to restrict carbon emissions into the atmosphere, Canada’s situation sticks out prominently – and often awkwardly. Although many other countries emit much greater volumes of carbon than we do, Canada enjoys two special distinctions: (i) we are the second largest per capita emitter of carbon in the world (after Australia); and (ii) as we expand our production from the oil sands and increase exports to the United States and other countries, we appear to be ever more hooked on carbon.

Read pages 11-19 in the section PDF

We need more objectivity if we are to understand exactly where we are and what we need to do

Squaring the Carbon Circle


2011-12-07 13:12:59

Stay with this guys, you’re helpnig a lot of people.

Roger Gagne

2011-11-27 22:03:05

I’m encouraged to see the intelligent foresight within your organization, and the discussions you are trying to further in Canadian society. It doesn’t completely surprise me, however.

Four months ago I began writing Canadian companies to ask their opinion on carbon pricing at the national level, starting with the ten listed in the mutual fund within my RRSP. After three obviously thoughtful replies, I was encouraged to keep going. I’ve now written to 185 companies and organizations and have received about 45 responses, most of which accept the need for carbon pricing of some kind in Canada.

I applaud your leadership in a time of need, challenge, and opportunity.