We have expanded the list of climate policies we assess company engagement with to incorporate land-use related policy, referring to legislative or regulatory measures to enhance and protect ecosystems and land where carbon is being stored. Assessments under this category are currently underweighted in terms of their contribution to the overall company metrics. This weighting will be progressively increased over the next 6 months.
We adjusted the terminology used to describe the queries running down the left-hand side of our scoring matrix and added additional explanatory text to the info-boxes. This has no impact on the scores and methodology. It has been done following user feedback to improve clarity.
Climate Policy Engagement Overview: Pathways Alliance or the Oil Sands Pathways to Net-Zero – a group of six oil sands producers in Canada – demonstrates mixed engagement on climate policy. The Alliance supports climate action and appear to be primarily engaged on policies related to energy transition and emissions regulation in Canada.
Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: The Alliance has recognized climate change as a “critical challenge”. In its introductory press release in June 2021, the Alliance stated support for the goals of the Paris Agreement and supports an economy-wide net-zero target by 2050. However, the Alliance’s position on the need for climate policies appear to be negative. For instance, in its submission to the 2023 Federal Budget Consultation in Canada, Alliance advocated for an “incentive-based” approach to climate policies and advocated against policies that “add costs and regulatory burden”.
Engagement with Climate-Related Policy: The Alliance appears to have limited transparent engagement on climate regulations beyond GHG emissions reduction policies. On emissions reduction policies, the Alliance’s position appears to be broadly negative. The Alliance’s submission to the 2023 Federal Budget Consultation supported the Canadian government’s 2030 emissions reduction target. However, in another submission made to the federal government on clean technology development in Canada, the Alliance appeared to not support the proposed federal Oil and Gas Emissions Cap, stating that the policy had “impractical timeframes” that could drive away investments from the oil and gas sector in Canada. Similar comments were made on this policy by the Alliance’s president, Kendal Dilling, in an opinion piece in The Globe and Mail in August 2022 and a press release in March 2022.
Positioning on Energy Transition: Most of the Alliance’s engagement appears to be concentrated on energy transition-related issues. The Alliance appears to advocate for a role for oil and gas up to and beyond 2050, often by popularizing what it calls as the production of the “cleanest barrels of oil in the world”. Further, while the Alliance has recognized the need to decarbonize oil and gas production, it also advocates for an increasing role for Canadian oil in the global market, citing concerns around energy security and affordability.
Since its inception, the Alliance has been involved in advocacy for increasing the uptake of technologies for decarbonization, mainly carbon capture and storage (CCS) in the energy sector. Through its press releases and Twitter communications, the Alliance frequently advocates for the need for CCS investments. The group has supported the Canadian federal government’s CCS Investment Tax Credit and advocates for larger government investments in CCS projects, as per its submission to the federal government on clean technology development in October 2022. Similar comments on expanded funding for CCS were reiterated in the submission to the Budget Consultation in the same month. However, in most of these CCS-related engagements, the Alliance has not specified its overall position on the need to transition away from oil and gas.