Pathways Alliance president Kendall Dilling stressed the importance of collaboration to meet net zero goals as he spoke with more than 75 community, industry, Indigenous and business representatives in northeastern Alberta in late November.
Dilling provided a progress update on the Alliance’s proposed carbon capture and storage (CCS) project and answered several questions about other aspects of its multi-phased plan during a lively question and answer session following the presentation.
He told participants during a virtual webinar he was confident Alberta could play a major role to help Canada meet its climate commitments if governments, industry and communities work together on an ambitious and realistic plan.
“I believe addressing greenhouse gas emissions is a shared value to us all,” said Dilling, adding that he believes the global energy transformation is on a comparable scale with the industrial revolution.
“This climate challenge is bigger than any single one of us and it requires everyone to come together,” he said.
Dilling explained that the foundational CCS project, which would be one of the world’s largest, was key to industry meeting its goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 22 million tonnes per year by 2030. The estimated $16.5 billion project alone could help achieve about half of that goal (between 10 to 12 million tonnes).
“There is no other project in Canada that can reduce carbon emissions to that magnitude in that timeframe,” he said.
“CCS technology is tested, proven technology that can be deployed immediately and it is the one that will have the biggest impact on greenhouse gas emissions,” Dilling said.
The Pathways Alliance is also developing many other technologies at various stages of readiness that will help meet both its 2030 ambitions as well us the ultimate goal to achieve net zero emissions from production by 2050. It strengthened its efforts to improve environmental performance on air land and water by integrating the work of Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA).
Dilling said there would be significant benefits to Alberta and Canada if the industry is successful in decarbonizing its energy production, noting significant financial benefits generated for communities in the way of royalties and taxes could continue for decades if Canada can become the world’s preferred supplier of responsibly produced oil.
“We are incredibly excited about this project and our members are totally committed to it,” he said.
“You are our most important stakeholders and we want to answer your questions and address any concerns. The environmental and economic benefits of this project are huge and will be shared with local communities.”
Achieving a capital project of this size requires significant co-investment with federal and provincial governments, and an effective and nimble regulatory process, he said.
Dilling stressed the urgency of coming to co-funding and regulatory agreements with governments quickly to meet 2030 goals.
He noted that while early engagement is ongoing with communities and Indigenous leaders, discussions will ramp up as the industry gets closer to filing its regulatory application for the project.
Dilling closed with a call to action for participants. “The climate challenge is bigger than any of us and bigger than our sector and our province. We can’t afford to let this opportunity pass us by. This is a pivotal time for Alberta and Canada and our CCS project offers many opportunities and benefits. Let’s find a path through this together,” he said.
The event is an example of Pathways Alliance’s commitment to be open and transparent about its plan to reach net zero and to proactively engage with a diverse array of partners to advance its multi-phase plan to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.