Canadian Oil Sands Sabrina Zuniga for Truth and Consequences

What is Canada’s share of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions? How much of that is caused by our oil sands?

The total of all Canada’s GHG emissions constitute only about 1.5% of global GHG emissions. Oil sands are responsible for only about 0.15%. Most of our GHG emissions result from consumption of oil products, such as transportation, electricity, construction and agriculture, not from production of oil.

If we ban our oil sands entirely, we’ll only reduce our emissions by 0.15%. Moreover, provided our current consumption of oil products, the lost volumes from our own oil production will have to be compensated by increasing and importing oil supplies from other countries. Because most other oil producing countries have significantly lower environmental standards than Canada and because their oil will have to be transported to Canada by ships or railroads, this will only result in greater GHG emissions than if we kept producing our own domestic oil.

Sources and Further Reading

Environment and Climate Change Canada

Viewpoint Research: Energy Literacy

“GHG Emissions: Focusing on the Consumer” by Jackie Forrest, Energy Research Institute, November 22, 2016

“Canada’s Opportunity in Energy Leadership”, 2019 Viewpoint Research


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