Suncor Energy

InfluenceMap Score
Performance Band
Organisation Score
Relationship Score
Calgary, Canada
Brands and Associated Companies:
Official Web Site:

Climate Lobbying Overview: Suncor appears to have mixed engagement with climate change policy and regulation. While the company’s top-level messaging communicates support for climate action at the federal level in Canada, it has mixed positions on specific climate-related regulations. Suncor also continues to support a sustained role for fossil fuels in Canada’s energy mix.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: Suncor's messaging on climate policy appears to be mostly positive. Suncor’s corporate website, accessed in January 2022, clearly acknowledged the science of climate change and supported a global net-zero target by 2050. Suncor has also publicly supported the Paris Agreement on its corporate website in 2022, including support for Canada’s commitments in the agreement. However, the company’s support for government regulations on climate change appears mixed. The company has also stated support for climate packages such as Canada’s Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change in its corporate website in 2022. Suncor’s Climate Report published in February 2021 supported a “broad-based” price on carbon.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: Suncor appears to be engaged in 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. Nevertheless, in its 2021 CDP response, the company supported renewable energy legislation with unclear qualifications. Suncor also appears to broadly support GHG emissions standards as disclosed in its 2021 Climate Report, and has stated support for Canada’s Clean Fuel Standard in the 2021 CDP response.

Positioning on Energy Transition: Suncor appears to strongly advocate for the continued expansion of the role of oil and gas in the energy mix. The company’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. Further, Alberta Lobbyist Register filing for the period from July to December 2021 reveals that the company advocated to the Alberta Ministry of Energy for fossil gas cogeneration in Alberta’s energy mix.

Suncor’s Twitter account and corporate website frequently communicate support for fossil fuels in the energy mix. For instance, a December 2021 tweet claimed that oil and gas play an “important part in the energy transition”. In September 2021, Suncor’s Program Lead for Clean Energy and Hydrogen claimed that future energy mix would include fossil fuels, hydrogen, and biofuels, without referencing carbon capture and storage or methane abatement measures. In a November 2021 press release referring to the company’s participation in the Oil Sands Pathways to Net Zero, Suncor supported a long term role for oil and gas and claimed that the key is to “reduce the emissions associated with the production and use of that oil and gas”.

Industry Association Governance: Suncor has disclosed a list of Canadian industry associations it holds memberships to in its 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 numerous associations that traditionally lobby negatively on climate change, such as American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP). Suncor’s CEO Mark Little is on the Board of Governors of CAPP. However, 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.

Strength of Relationship

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.