Carbon panelists - Mar 19

The Canada We Want in 2020: Squaring the Carbon Circle

March 19, 2012

Both advanced and emerging markets are moving inexorably towards a low-carbon future. Yet Canada has no coherent strategy to reduce carbon consumption.

It is time for a change.

Canada urgently needs a meaningful national carbon strategy that will reduce our emissions and provide the certainty that businesses and individuals require for effective future planning.

This event took place in Ottawa on Monday March 19, 2012.

Visit our home page for this area.

Watch a brief interview with our presenters:

Joe Aldy


Lorraine Mitchelmore


Ian Mallory


Stewart Elgie


Alex Wood


Recommended links



Featured Participants

Alex Wood

Sustainable Prosperity Bio

Ian Mallory

Pickworth Investments LP Bio

Joe Aldy

Harvard University Bio

Lorraine Mitchelmore

Shell Canada Bio

Stewart Elgie

Sustainable Prosperity/University of Ottawa Bio

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  1. About CCS: According to five reports on the realistic costs of “Clean Coal” (,carbon capture and storage will make coal-fired power production 50-90% more expensive, will consume 30-35% more coal and still capture 80-90% of the CO2. Lorraine Mitchelmore in a response to a question by Jeffrey Simpson was promoting CCS as a proven and efficient technology to reduce CO2. The Shell Canada Energy Quest Project, a joint venture among Shell Canada, Chevron Canada Ltd. and Marathon Oil Sands L.P., is a fully integrated CCS project. The Government of Canada is investing $120 million in this project, and Alberta $745 million. Over one million tonnes of CO2 per year would be captured, transported and stored. The TransAlta Project Pionner would also captured around one million tonnes of CO2 per year. The Alberta Carbon Trunk Line (ACTL), a large -scale enhanced CCS oil recovery (an indirect subsidy to the oil industry) and storage, is also another project subsidized by both governments. Of the $2 billion promised for CCS, the Alberta government has already committed to spending $1.5 billion on these projects (however, the TransAlta’s $440 million Pionner project might not go ahead). Those projects would capture around four million tonnes of CO2 a year by the end of 2015. In 2010, GHG emissions from the oil sands alone were around 40 million tonnes a year, and are expected to reach 89 million tonnes a year in 2035 (CERI report,May 2011). In 2009, Alberta’s combined emissions were around 233 million tonnes. CCS will be just a drop in the bucket and a very expensive one. At its 2010 symposium on CCS,the Global CCS Institute reported that: “CO2 capture requires energy, reduces overall energy efficiency and adds cost… to make a significant contribution to climate change mitigation will require a large network of pipelines and safety issues will undoubtedly become more complex… Of key importance is determining liability to cover potential leakage both during the active project and in the longer term… CCS is the third most powerful solution for mitigating CO2 emissions after energy efficiency and renewables (some argue that investing in CCS only divert investments away from energy efficiency and renewable energy)”. CCS is very expensive in the short term , not safety proven (possible leaks discovered at the Weyburn-Midale CCS facility) and governments haven’t yet deal with the liability issues which might be very costly to taxpayers in the future. CCS might end up being a big waste of taxpayers money. That’s why a lot of countries around the world are backing up from CCS.

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