Promoting climate measures key to natural gas and oil exports: Eurasia Group analyst

CALGARY -- Strong environmental leadership will help boost Canada's natural gas exports and could pave the way for future oilsands exports, says a high-profile analyst.

See Full Article

Robert Johnston, CEO of political risk assessment firm Eurasia Group, says Prime Minister Trudeau should promote stricter emissions targets in Asia to boost the potential of liquefied natural gas exports to the region.

"I see actually a very positive opportunity to align what Alberta wants for its gas sector, what Trudeau wants on climate change and what Asian consumers and governments really want," Johnston said Friday at a Calgary Chamber event.

Coal is still projected to be the fastest-growing energy source in Asia, but cleaner-burning natural gas could replace some of that if the right regulations are in place.

"Canada has a role to play in advocating for natural gas a climate solution," said Johnston.

The switch to natural gas would mean cleaner air for smog-choked Asian cities as well as help with the aim of reducing carbon emissions globally, making it a "quick and easy win" for Canada.

"If Prime Minister Trudeau and Hillary Clinton and EU leaders really want to do something about this, there's an opportunity to put more gas into the market versus coal."

Getting a liquefied natural gas exporting project completed would also have the symbolic benefit of showing Canada can still build and permit major infrastructure projects, Johnston added.

Promoting stricter environmental controls could also give a boost to exporting Alberta oilsands crude, even opening the potential of having the Keystone XL pipeline approved, Johnson suggested.

"I still think that maybe you can get a Keystone-XL-for-carbon deal with Hillary Clinton," said Johnston. "Having a proactive leadership position from the Canadian side on carbon will make it a lot easier to have a dialogue."

And given the sensitive politics of mayors and local communities opposing Canadian pipelines, Keystone might actually be easier to negotiate.

"I think that Justin Trudeau might find the politics of Keystone XL easier than the politics of Energy East," he said.

But while better environmental policy could open up export routes, he wasn't so optimistic on oilsands development itself.

The International Energy Agency recently slashed its long-term oil demand profile, removing 10 million barrels a day of "high-cost oil that we're not going to need anymore," he said.

And he doesn't expect oil to recover towards US$50 until sometime in 2017.

In the meantime, Canada needs to do what it can to make its energy projects more appealing.

"Governments have to recognize that we're a marginal, high-cost supplier and everything we can do to make it a better place to invest, whether it's fiscal, environmental, regulatory efficiencies, First Nations, all those will be important."

Sound environmental policy is important but not necessarily at the expense of Canada's energy industry.

"You're going to have to have a carbon angle, you're going to have to have a clean energy angle, but you can also include oil and gas in that deal," he said. "These things are not necessarily mutually exclusive."



Advertisements

Latest Economic News

  • B.C. delays ride-hailing again, draws ire of Greens

    Economic CTV News
    VANCOUVER - The British Columbia government says it will ease into allowing ride-hailing services, laying the groundwork for new rides to enter the market as early as the fall of 2019. In the meantime, Transport Minister Claire Trevena said the government plans to increase the number of taxis on the streets and allow flexible fares for existing taxi firms that arrange rides using apps. Source
  • Big move for Big Bird: Sesame Street is entering classrooms

    Economic CTV News
    SEATTLE -- Sesame Street is taking its beloved, critically acclaimed brand of educational television into the highly profitable world of classroom curriculum -- a move that experts say could open the door for other companies to move into the sensitive learning space with possible influence on children. Source
  • Aimia to launch Aeroplan charter airline after end of Air Canada partnership

    Economic CTV News
    MONTREAL -- Aeroplan aims to get into the airline business by offering charter flights to its most popular destinations as the loyalty program prepares for the end of its exclusive partnership with Air Canada in 2020. Source
  • Canadian marijuana company Tilray has first U.S. pot IPO

    Economic CTV News
    SEATTLE -- A Canadian company is the first marijuana business to complete an initial public offering on a major U.S. stock exchange, raising $153 million to expand its operations as Canada prepares to legalize the drug nationwide. Source
  • Starbucks to open store geared toward deaf community

    Economic CTV News
    Due to open in Washington D.C. this October, the store will offer a customized format that facilitates accessibility and employment for people who are deaf and hard of hearing, the company says. All 20 to 25 people working at the store will also be fluent in American Sign Language. Source
  • Ottawa still searching for Trans Mountain buyer, says new natural resources minister

    Economic CBC News
    Ottawa's ownership of the Trans Mountain pipeline will be short lived, vows newly-appointed Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi. "We are not in this for the long haul," Sohi said. "Our goal is to remove the political uncertainty, get this project underway and once that political uncertainty is dealt with, we will explore options of transferring these assets back to the private sector. Source
  • Shares of pot company Tilray surge in first day of trading on Nasdaq

    Economic CBC News
    Shares of Tilray Inc. jumped on Thursday as it became the first Canadian cannabis company to launch an initial public offering on a U.S. stock market. In mid-day trading on Nasdaq, Tilray shares were up more than 29 per cent from its $17 US IPO price to hit $21.99 US. Source
  • De Beers Canada acquires Peregrine Diamonds, to take over Nunavut diamond project

    Economic CBC News
    De Beers Canada says it plans to take over the company behind the Chidliak diamond mining project in Nunavut. In a Thursday morning news release, the corporation announced it has entered into an approximately $107 million agreement to acquire all outstanding securities of Peregrine Diamonds Ltd. Source
  • Industrials and tech help lift Toronto market while U.S. stocks sink

    Economic CTV News
    TORONTO - The industrials and technology sectors helped lift Canada's main stock index higher in late-morning trading, while U.S. stock markets moved lower. The S&P/TSX composite index was up 63.64 points to 16,541.04, after 90 minutes of trading. Source
  • Trump tariffs would cause vehicle prices to soar, wipe out jobs: report

    Economic CTV News
    An automotive study says U.S. tariffs on imported vehicles and auto parts would cause the price of new vehicles to soar, wipe out tens of thousands of American jobs and take a big chunk out of the country's gross domestic product. Source