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Oilsands Executives: The Industry Can’t Afford to Accelerate Their Investments in Decarbonization

cenovus ceo alex pourbaix
(Jeff McIntosh/The Canadian Press)

Executives from the oilsands industry say they are committed to reducing emissions and will make significant investments in clean technologies; however, they argue that there is nowhere to invest those funds right now.

Repeatedly during the past year, Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault has urged companies to show their support for the cause by investing a portion of their profits in climate change programs.

CEO of Cenovus Alex Pourbaix said, however, that the companies are doing it “as aggressively as (they) can.”

“We’re not yet at the point where we can invest billions in these projects,” he said.

Pathways Alliance is a group of six oilsands companies working together to fully decarbonize their operations by 2050, and Cenovus is one of those companies. By 2030, the corporations plan to have spent $24 billion on reducing emissions, with $1.6 billion of that going toward carbon capture and storage.

A controversial aspect, however, is who would pay the funding for these expenses.

The oilsands industry is pushing for the federal government to increase its efforts to match with the United States government’s financial incentives for the expansion of clean energy production.

Due to the dramatic increase in the cost of energy, oil and gas companies have seen record profits over the past few years. Corporate profit growth has been criticized at a time when inflation is at levels not seen in decades, and some have called for windfall taxes to collect the extra profits.

In the last two years, for every dollar Canadians spent on high prices, 25 cents went toward oilsands industry profits, according to new research from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives by senior economist David Macdonald.

Pourbaix, however, disagreed that the industry should make a larger financial contribution to the government.

“I think we are already contributing significantly,” he stated, predicting that the business will pay between $10 billion and $12 billion in federal taxes in 2023.

Original source material for this article taken from here

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Written by Olivia Woods

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