Join Member Login

October 9 2019

Energy Summit: Major Themes and Key Takeaways

On October 2, 2019 we hosted the inaugural Energy Summit. Leaders from across the country came together to have a conversation about Canada and our potential to be a leader in natural resource development AND fight global climate change at the same time. Thank you to everyone who joined the conversation.

We delivered

Our Canadian Global Cities Council (CGCC) Energy Summit brought together leaders from across Canada to discuss and demonstrate the diversity of our natural resources and how Canada can become a leader in innovation to drive the international efforts to fight global climate change.

When we set out this summer to deliver the inaugural Energy Summit we wanted to achieve three things:

  1. First, we wanted to demonstrate the diversity in Canada’s natural resources sector, from energy to agriculture and everything in between.
  2. Second, we wanted to showcase the innovative and collaborative work that these Canadian industries are doing to develop new technologies.
  3. And finally, we wanted to demonstrate the potential for Canada to be a leader in natural resource development AND a leader in innovation in the fight against global climate change.

We delivered on these goals.

To Recap

The summit kicked off with a keynote from the Honourable Sonya Savage, Minister of Energy in Alberta. She discussed the Government of Alberta’s short, medium, and long-term plans to improve the province’s global economic competitiveness for the natural resource industry. Minister Savage also discussed the importance of creating the right business climate to develop and bring innovations to reality.

Our first panel focused on the diversity in Canada’s natural resources and how they can be harnessed for environmentally sustainable development. Panel members Bryan Cox, President & CEO at BC LNG Alliance, Frank Saunders, President, ON Nuclear Innovation Institute and Theresa Redburn, SVP, Corporate & Commercial Development, Imperial, discussed the importance of collaboration – recognizing all Canadian natural resources industries have a role to play in carbon reduction efforts. The panel also discussed how industries can build alliances and partnerships to learn from, and work with, each other to create a national narrative about the importance of our natural resources.

Our second panel focused on the role of innovation in the future of competitive natural resource development in Canada. With representatives from across Canada, Jim Illich, Chairman of the Board, GNL Québec Inc., Derek Evans, CEO MEG Energy, and Chris Slubicki, CEO, Modern Resources discussed the importance of looking at the entire energy supply chain to integrate innovative solutions that come from different sectors to solve global GHG issues. The panel highlighted the importance of balancing consumer and investor needs with energy development, and how innovation is embraced and promoted by the industry.

During the Summit we also heard from Steven Saddleback, the Director of the National Energy Business Centre of Excellence at the Indian Resource Council (IRC). Mr. Saddleback highlighted the work of the IRC and focused on the importance of collaboration between Indigenous communities and Canadian natural resource industries. Many of our panelists also discussed the importance of these relationships and the key role Indigenous engagement and participation plays in balancing economic development with environmental protection.

To conclude Steve Laut, Chairman of Canadian Natural Resources delivered a keynote address discussing innovations developed by the energy industry that have helped transform Canadian oil and gas into premium, low intensity natural resources. Mr. Laut also emphasized the importance of embracing a global perspective in fighting climate change and Canada’s potential to be a world leader and have a major positive impact on global emission reduction.

Many of the speakers and panelists highlighted, at length, the role Canada can play in reducing global emissions by exporting our natural resources, both our products and our innovative technologies, to displace higher emission energy sources around the world. Further reinforcing the significance of Canada’s leadership potential in natural resource development and fighting global climate change.

Key Takeaways

Collaboration – We as Canadian business leaders, politicians and communities, working together, will be essential in carrying these conversations forward. In the spirit of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, which enables parties involved to cooperate with each other and transfer emissions reductions, we as citizens and business leaders must also collaborate to maximize our global impact.

Rallying to the ‘AND’ – We are at a critical point in Canada’s history, we cannot afford to think only in terms of “pro-energy” or “pro-environment”. We must recognize that we can and have done both and there is still more work to do. In the months ahead we want these ‘AND’ conversations to continue. These are important conversations that need to be more widely discussed at dinner tables and in public, across the country. We hope that we have armed you with the tools and language and information you need to go home, to work and to social events and continue the conversations that were started here today.

Nation-building – We need to be clear and simple in our approach – Canada needs more Canada. We must come together to stand up for our natural resource economy every single day and create a national vision for the future of our resources. The challenge is not unique to oil and gas, it applies to every natural resource Canada has to offer – from nuclear, to LNG, to renewables. We must actively find and work towards the right business climate to bring our innovations to reality. We also encourage you to think about your own personal transition plan. About how you, as an individual, can do your part in reducing global emissions.

What to do

What business can do

The business community can continue to advocate for the ‘AND’ perspective and take a holistic view of their sectors. Businesses can also promote the innovations in products and services they have, are, and will be adopting to reduce their carbon footprint across industries.

What government can do

Governments at the municipal, provincial, and federal levels can continue to incentivize innovations that are directly reducing GHG emissions in Canada’s natural resource industries. Governments must create agile and reasonable regulatory processes that allow Canadian businesses to remain competitive in an increasingly global market and support projects that provide increased market access for Canadian resources.

What academia can do

Academia can research and highlight the most effective ways Canada can reduce GHG emissions nationally and globally. Academia also plays a crucial part in providing factual information about resource development and Canada’s role in fighting climate change globally.

What civil society can do

As demands for energy and resources grow in the coming years, Canadians need to do their part as individuals and communities to reduce personal footprints. Collectively we can play a much bigger role in fighting climate change in the global scale.

In Closing

We look forward to the fruition of the alliances and partnerships shaping up across different sectors in order to reduce global emissions.

We look forward to sharing Canada’s wealth of knowledge and technologies with the world to further offset emissions.

We look forward to industry engaging with our citizens to create an understanding of the climate actions we have, are, and will be taking.

Our work now begins on creating the framework and proposal for a vision for Our Natural Resources. It will take many thought leaders to do this so join the conversation and make your contribution.

Please continue the conversation in person and online. Follow us on Twitter @calgarychamber. Make sure to use our hashtag #OurNaturalResources to share your thoughts on these important issues.