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Our plan

We recognize climate change is a critical challenge of our time, and that our industry has an essential role to play in helping our country meet its climate goals. 

To help Canada meet its climate goals, we have a three-phased plan to ensure immediate progress to reduce carbon emissions and achieve a goal of net zero emissions by 2050. Our plan includes key short-term steps to ensure immediate progress so we can also help Canada meet its interim emissions reduction targets in 2030. 

How we’ll achieve our plan

There is no single path to net zero. That’s why we’re pursuing multiple technologies and approaches to achieve our goal of net zero emissions by 2050. 

A major component of our plan, and one we can implement the fastest, is carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCS) technology. CCS involves capturing CO2 emissions at the source, then transporting the CO2 to safe storage deep underground in geological formations. CCS is a safe, proven and reliable technology and Canada is a leader in using it.  

In addition to CCS, we will continue to advance other existing and emerging technologies, such as direct air capture and switching to lower carbon fuels such as clean hydrogen and electricity to power oil sands operations. 

Because of the amount of long-term capital investment required to build carbon capture and storage infrastructure, and the speed needed to meet 2030 targets, the countries that are doing this successfully are all using a collaborative model where governments are co-investing alongside industry. Also It also requires supportive fiscal/regulatory system. 

Plan to achieve net zero

The Pathways Alliance has an ambitious plan to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Click to learn more about our three-phased plan to continue reducing emissions.

Our foundational CCS project

Initially, the Pathways Alliance will focus on building a foundational carbon capture and storage network in northern Alberta. At the heart of the network is a proposed carbon transportation line to gather captured CO2 from more than 20 oil sands facilities and move it to a proposed hub in the Cold Lake area of Alberta for safe underground storage. The line would also be available to other industries in the region interested in capturing and storing CO2.  

Our three-phased approach

No one solution will get us to net zero oil production. We need multiple parallel pathways. These include improvements to the current process as well as emerging technologies. Other avenues include electrification, fuel substitution and improved energy efficiency.

Our 3-phased approach will achieve reduced emissions.

Phase 1: 2020-30


Phase 2: 2030-40

Improve efficiencies

Phase 3: 2040-50

Emerging technologies

Includes employing carbon capture and storage to transport carbon to a storage facility; could be expanded to include carbon capture from 20+ oil sands facilities and from other industries.

Includes using emerging technologies to improve processes and increase carbon capture; exploring alternative power sources, such as small modular reactors, for oil sands production.

The plan depends on developing existing and emerging technologies to lead the world to net zero oil production.

What is CCS?

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) captures greenhouse gas emissions before, during and after combustion. The emissions are either removed and stored safely (called sequestering). In some applications, the carbon can be re-purposed and used to make products such as concrete or carbon fibre materials. This is called Carbon Capture  Storage.

Does it work?

Yes. Canada already has CCS projects that have been safely and reliably operating for years. In addition, there are numerous projects similar to the Pathways CCS network underway around the world. 

Globally, similar projects in Norway and the Netherlands have reduced greenhouse gas emissions substantially. These European examples have proven that industry-government collaboration can help reduce emissions towards achieving net zero emissions.  

It’s made in Canada

We’re building on lessons learned from these countries as we create our own home-grown solution.  

We need the expertise of the people who work for the companies that make up the Pathways Alliance. We need the innovative thinking of those who work in the Clean Tech sector. And we need clear and transparent policy and comprehensive regulatory frameworks. 

“We've invested more than $2 billion in research over the last two decades. And that allows us to continue to achieve these meaningful results around our production, our environmental emissions, and other key challenges that we face.”
Brad Corson, CEO, Imperial

We need the bright minds of the people who work for the companies that make up the Pathways Alliance. We need the bright minds of those who work in the Clean Tech sector. And we need policy and regulatory support of government.

Innovation & technology

Advancing innovation and technology to reduce emissions isn’t new to the oil sands industry. We’ve been doing it for a long time. In fact, we’ve reduced overall emissions intensity by over 23 per cent between 2012 and 2019.  

We have a long history of furthering industry progress through technological advance. Our industry follows some of the world’s most stringent environmental regulations, and we set the highest standards in managing our energy projects. That’s why Canada is uniquely positioned to be a global leader in responsible oil production. 

We know Canadian ingenuity, leadership and collaboration can solve the climate challenge. And the most effective way forward will come from new technologies.


A community of stakeholders

Achieving net zero will require collaboration across industries, with both levels of government and with many other critical stakeholders. We will continue to work closely with municipalities, Indigenous communities, environmental organizations, our suppliers in every region of Canada and our investors. 

Indigenous communities are vital

The Pathways Alliance companies have all made significant strides towards reconciliation with Indigenous communities located near our operations. We look forward to continuing our engagement with those communities in the months and years ahead to ensure their ideas and concerns are heard as we advance our three-phased plan and strive to make our emissions-reduction goal a reality.