Suncor oil sands pond

Alberta to cap oil sands emissions


EDMONTON, November 23, 2015 – The oil-rich Canadian province of Alberta has announced it will cap emissions from oil sands producers.

Companies such as Imperial Oil and Suncor Energy will be required to limit their emissions to a combined 100 megatonnes, the provincial government announced on Sunday.

The limit is well above the current 70 megatonnes of annual emissions from oil sands operations, which had been forecast to reach 100 megatonnes by 2030.

The plan to cut emissions also includes a rise in the carbon levy to CAD 30 ($22) per tonne by 2018.


Since the surprise victory of the country’s New Democratic Party in the traditionally conservative province in May 2015, oil industry observers have anticipated a change in policy towards the market with greater emphasis on environmental protection.

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said the plan would help the province boost its renewables market.

She also described US President Barack Obama’s recent rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline as a “kick in the teeth.” The pipeline would have increased access to the US market for oil produced at the oil sands.

The oil sands emissions cap is expected to take effect in 2016.

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