Cenovus Energy

InfluenceMap Score
D-
Performance Band
47%
Organisation Score
35%
Relationship Score
Sector:
Energy
Head​quarters:
Calgary, Canada
Official Web Site:
Wikipedia:

Climate Lobbying Overview: Cenovus does not appear to be supportive of policies to respond to climate change. Cenovus maintains support for a high GHG energy mix and lobbies in favor of a long-term role for oil in the future energy mix.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: Cenovus appears to have a mixed stance on climate policy in its top-line messaging, with limited transparent engagement. In a tweet from July 2021, Cenovus recognized climate change as “one of the most pressing challenges”. The company also appears to be supportive of a net-zero emissions economy by 2050 as revealed in tweets from February 2022 and June 2021. Cenovus’ position on the need for climate regulation appears to be negative. In November 2021, a report by Calgary Herald revealed Cenovus CEO, Alex Pourbaix supported carbon pricing while qualifying that carbon pricing needs to be first implemented globally so that countries like Canada are “not handicapped” by countries with “no interest” in pricing carbon.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: Cenovus appears to have negative engagement with specific climate regulations, with limited transparent engagement. In March 2020, Cenovus advocated to Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, to suspend the scheduled increased in federal carbon tax. There is also evidence to show that Cenovus does not support ambitious GHG emissions targets. In July 2022, Cenovus CEO Pourbaix opposed Canada’s proposed federal oil and gas emissions cap, stating that the policy would result in future production cuts from Canada’s oil sands, as reported by Calgary Herald. In the 2020 CDP Request, Cenovus stated major exceptions to its support for the Clean Fuel Standard while emphasizing “undue cost burden” from the policy. Further, Cenovus’ lobbying registration with Canada’s federal lobbying registry between June to August 2022 revealed that the company directly advocated to policymakers on several policies related to GHG emissions reductions including, the Greenhouse Gas Offshore Program and Canadian Environmental Protection Act, although the positions on these policies are undisclosed. In this registration, however, Cenovus supported development of emissions reductions technologies, including for methane.

Positioning on Energy Transition: Cenovus appears to strongly advocate in favor of oil and gas. The company’s ESG Report, published in July 2022, stated that the company believes oil will be required beyond 2050. Through its membership of the Oil Sands Pathway to Net-Zero alliance, announced in June 2021, Cenovus recognized the need to reduce emissions from oil sands and the important role played by alternative energy sources. However, in the same source, it also highlights the need for fossil fuels up to 2050 and the continuation of tax credits for oil sands production.

Cenovus’ 12-month lobbying registration in the federal lobbying registry between June to August 2022, revealed that the company has advocated in favor of oil and gas infrastructure, including for provincial government investment in the West White Rose/White Rose offshore project. In Alberta, Cenovus lobbied for the government support for the expansion of the oil and gas resource sector, as disclosed in its 6-month lobbying summary filed in August 2022. In March 2020, Cenovus stated that it remains a “firm supporter” of the Keystone Pipeline, as reported by the National Observer.

Cenovus’ support for the energy transition appears to be predicated on technology-led solutions for decarbonization. As per the federal lobbying registry, Cenovus advocated for incentives for “technological innovation” to develop “cleaner” energy – however, the company has not disclosed what it considers as cleaner energy. Registrations in the federal lobbying registry revealed that the company had advocated for “policy levers” to support the development of CCUS. In its 2021 ESG report, published in July 2022, Cenovus supported Canada’s investment tax credit for CCUS, however it appears that Cenovus’ support for CCUS is for deployment in the oil sands.

Industry Association Governance: Cenovus appears to show limited transparency on its membership of industry associations and does not appear to have undertaken an audit of its industry associations’ lobbying on climate change policy. While the company has disclosed a list of industry associations to which it holds membership to, except for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), it does not disclose details of organizations’ climate change policy positions or indicate whether Cenovus’ climate change policy positions are aligned with the industry associations in question. Cenovus is a member of American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers (AFPM) which appears to be engaging negatively on climate change policy and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

InfluenceMap collects and assesses evidence of corporate climate policy engagement on a weekly basis, depending on the availability of information from each specific data source (for more information, see our methodology). While this analysis flows through to the company’s scores each week, the summary above is updated periodically. This summary was last updated in Q3 2022.

QUERIES
DATA SOURCES
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Strength of Relationship
STRONG
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WEAK
 
35%
 
35%
 
51%
 
51%
 
20%
 
20%

How to Read our Relationship Score Map

In this section, we depict graphically the relationships the corporation has with trade associations, federations, advocacy groups and other third parties who may be acting on their behalf to influence climate change policy. Each of the columns above represents one relationship the corporation appears to have with such a third party. In these columns, the top, dark section represents the strength of the relationship the corporation has with the influencer. For example if a corporation's senior executive also held a key role in the trade association, we would deem this to be a strong relationship and it would be on the far left of the chart above, with the weaker ones to the right. Click on these grey shaded upper sections for details of these relationships. The middle section contains a link to the organization score details of the influencer concerned, so you can see the details of its climate change policy influence. Click on the middle sections for for details of the trade associations. The lower section contains the organization score of that influencer, the lower the more negatively it is influencing climate policy.