Suncor Energy

InfluenceMap Score
D+
Performance Band
55%
Organisation Score
49%
Relationship Score
Sector:
Energy
Head​quarters:
Calgary, Canada
Brands and Associated Companies:
Petro-Canada
Official Web Site:
Wikipedia:

Climate Lobbying Overview: Suncor appears to have mixed engagement with climate change policy and regulation. The company’s top-level messaging and positions on specific climate-related regulations appear mixed. Suncor also continues to support a sustained role for oil and gas in Canada’s energy mix.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: Suncor's top-line messaging on climate policy appears to have changed from positive to mixed in 2022. The company’s website, when accessed in January 2022, had clearly acknowledged the science of climate change and supported a global net-zero target by 2050. However, these positions are no longer on the website when accessed in August 2022, and Suncor only specifies its operational net-zero targets. In June 2022, the company advocated for support for “technology and innovation” related to Canada’s net-zero goal, as disclosed in its federal registration of lobbying activities; however, it is still unclear if Suncor supports a net-zero by 2050 target. Suncor has stated support for the goals of the Paris Agreement in its ESG Disclosure Index 2022 from June 2022. While Suncor has stated support for climate policies in its 2022 Climate Report, it specified that policies should be “pragmatic” and promote economic prosperity. Additionally, in the company’s federal lobbying registration from July 2022, it appeared to advocate for “individual solutions” for provinces over a Canada-wide federal regulation of GHG emissions.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: Suncor appears to be engaged on various strands of climate regulations, albeit with limited transparency or details regarding its positions. In Suncor’s 2021 CDP response, the company did not support a carbon tax, instead proposing carbon intensity standards for fuels in lieu of taxes. Suncor’s lobbying registration in Alberta from June 2022 revealed that the company supports the development of renewable energy development for the electricity sector.

Suncor also appears to be engaged with policymakers on GHG emissions legislation at the federal provincial levels. Suncor has also reported lobbying on GHG emission legislations in British Columbia and Ontario in 2022, however, the positions on these policies are not disclosed. Suncor’s registration in the Quebec lobbyist registry disclosed that the company had engaged on Quebec’s cap-and-trade system and advocated that any future modifications to the program should be competitive.

Positioning on Energy Transition: Suncor appears to strongly advocate for the continued expansion of the role of oil and gas in the energy mix. In its 2022 Climate Report, published in June 2022, Suncor stated that Canadian oil has “unparalleled potential” to ensure long-term energy supply in the transition to a net-zero economy and supported a “thoughtful and balanced” energy transition. Further, in a tweet from February 2022, Suncor’s CEO at that time, Mark Little supported fossil gas infrastructure, particularly the TransMountain pipeline project, stating that 2021 British Columbia floods were a “reminder” of the critical nature of pipeline infrastructure for energy access.

Evidence from Canada’s various lobbying registries show that Suncor is actively and strongly advocating to policymakers in favor of the oil and gas industry. For instance, the company’s July 2022 federal lobbying registration disclosed that Suncor had advocated for policy support for fossil fuel investments and market access for energy. In this registration, Suncor also disclosed that it is engaged on the Canadian government’s decision to ban fossil fuel subsidies as well as the proposed CCS investment tax credits, although the positions on these are undisclosed. Suncor’s December 2021 filing with the Alberta Lobbyist Register disclosed that it has lobbied various divisions of the Alberta Government in favor of the fossil gas industry in Alberta’s COVID-19 response package.

On the energy transition, there appears to be some support for measures related to decarbonization. A blog from April 2022 supported the increased use of electric vehicles (EVs). In British Columbia, Suncor has advocated for investments for EV fast charging as revealed in the province’s lobbying registry. Further, in British Columbia and Ontario, Suncor disclosed that it is engaged on policies such as “clean technology” and hydrogen packages, without specifying positions or additional details. Another blog from March 2022 supported investments in hydrogen infrastructure, however, the company did not specify whether hydrogen production would exclude unabated fossil gas production. As per the website, accessed in August 2022, Suncor appears to consider CCS as “critical technology” to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. Suncor’s 2022 Climate Report also supported the federal government’s announcement of the investment tax credit for Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).

Industry Association Governance: Suncor has disclosed a list of Canadian industry associations it holds memberships to in its 2022 Climate Report and 2021 Sustainability Report. However, the company gives no details on the industry associations’ positions on climate change policy, or Suncor’s engagements with them. Suncor has not published a review of its industry associations’ alignment on climate policy. Suncor holds memberships with several associations that lobby negatively on climate change, such as American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers, Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), and International Association of Oil and Gas Producers (IOGP). Suncor also holds a membership in Board of Governors of CAPP. In its 2021 CDP response, the company disclosed that it is not aligned with CAPP’s position on carbon pricing, i.e, Suncor does not agree with CAPP’s support for carbon pricing.

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
21NANSNS2NS
11NS0NS-1NS
100000NS
11NA1NSNS0
0NA0NANANANS
0-1-1001NS
01-10NSNSNS
012NSNSNSNS
1001NSNSNS
0-100-2-1NS
0-1101NSNS
-1NS-1NANANANS
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Strength of Relationship
STRONG
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
WEAK
 
35%
 
35%
 
51%
 
51%
 
51%
 
51%
 
45%
 
45%
 
47%
 
47%
 
67%
 
67%
 
52%
 
52%

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.