Speech to OSCE on Energy Security

July 11, 2016

Energy security truly is a global challenge that calls for strong multilateral cooperation among our countries. Energy is the backbone of any economy and thus, of our security. 

A healthy energy sector must be able to support the day-to-day needs of our people; sustain the growth of our economies; and contribute to the sustainability of our environment and natural resources.

According to the International Energy Agency, the worlds demand for energy could grow by nearly one-third by the year 2040. 

What impacts will this growing demand have on our relationships?  We must plan proactively to ensure that our common security is not affected by tensions over energy. 

As the international community continues to transition towards lower-carbon economies with more efficient energy systems, we must keep diversifying our energy sources.  

We need renewable technologies and resources to give birth to new industries and we need R&D and innovation to revitalize older ones. 

At the same time though, we must recognize that oil and gas are going to be needed for the foreseeable future and that we should respect those countries that use these resources in a responsible manner. 

The facts are that in Canada almost 20% of our primary energy supply comes from renewable sources, such as hydroelectric, wind and solar power.  We are the second largest producer of hydroelectricity in the world, and are continually investing in other renewable sectors. The fact that over 80% of our electricity comes from renewable energy shows our commitment to using the right energy source for the right energy need.

But we are just as proud of our oil and gas industry.  We have the third largest oil reserves in the world, and are the fourth and fifth largest producer of oil and gas respectively.

We also are the second largest producer of uranium, with the largest deposits of high-grade uranium in the world.

Canada is a stable democracy with a strong economy.  We represent a secure, reliable and ethical source of energy for the world’s future.

The Canadian oil and gas brand is well respected throughout the world by those that are knowledgeable about the industry. We have some of the strongest regulations on the planet; we demand that oil and gas activity be monitored, that producers properly respect landholders and that companies adhere to the rules of proper reclamation.  A prime example of this is our oil sands near Fort MacMurray in my province of Alberta.  Not only is its air cleaner than most cities, but the limited area that is used for open pit mining, which removes the oil from the sand is reclaimed into some of the most luscious forests imaginable. These reclamation projects are further monitored for 40 years after the reclamation is completed.  Anyone that sees what we do understands why we are so passionate about this industry and why we bristle at misinformation used as a wedge by competitors to limit Canada's contribution to the worlds market.

*  To put the GHG emission discussion in perspective, if Canada's oils sands share of the expected worlds fossil fuel requirements for the next decade is calculated, according to the IEA the entire extra GHG from our processes would be less than that of one days emissions from China's present coal fired plants. 

*  Canada's recent announcement of investments in 19 new clean technology projects under the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, coupled with Western Canada's  R&D in Carbon Capture and Storage and other innovative technologies are but a few of the examples of our continued commitment to responsible energy management worldwide.

All of this being said we know that we can learn from the experiences of others in the same way that others can earn from us.  I would welcome the opportunity to exchange best practises in energy policy and security with other delegates.

Thank you.