Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Green Innovation and the Economic Importance of Fossil Fuels in Canada

Fossil fuels are the cornerstone of the Canadian economy and many companies are developing technological processes to help minimize their environmental impacts. Fossil fuels and the tar sands in particular are powerful economic drivers of the Canadian economy. The tar sands generate $91 billion for the Canadian economy. Oil and refined petroleum products are responsible for 25 percent of Canadian exports. The oil sands have seen substantial growth in the last couple of decades and they have provided a corresponding number of jobs. As reported in the Financial Post, a February 2014, IHS CERA study, showed that in 2012, oil sands generated almost a half a million jobs in Canada (478,000) Canadian jobs or 3 percent of all jobs in the country and

We are seeing "green" innovation in the Canadian fossil fuel industry including investments in carbon capture and storage. This type of innovation could reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 20 percent or more, tailings could be reduced by 80 percent and river water could be diminished by 25 percent.

Companies like Titanium Corp. have developed a process of transforming tailings into a valuable commodity. Another process developed by MEG Energy Corp. would eliminate the need for diluent to transport bitumen, reducing energy intensity and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 21 percent. A technology developed by Western Hydrogen Ltd. that converts natural gas into hydrogen using molten salt gasification, could reduce GHG emissions by 23 percent.

Even if these claims are true, the remaining carbon load from extracting tar sands oil are far too onerous to consider. The combination of GHGs, toxicity, and environmental damage associated with extraction and transportation make it impossible to effectively green fossil fuels.

As explained in the most recent IPCC report, to have a chance of curtailing climate change we must divest from fossil fuel and develop renewable sources of energy.

Examples of Renewable Energy Innovations in 2013
Innovation is Key for Sustainability According to Tomorrow’s Value Rating 2013
Innovation in the Low Carbon Energy Economy
Top Climate Innovators
Video: Innovation is the Solution to Climate Change
Video: Sustainability and Innovation
Innovation is the Future of Canadian Cleantech
An Integrative Approach to Eco-Innovation
An Open Model of Innovation
Innovation and the Development of
Sustainability is a Catalyst for Innovation
China's Green Innovation
Fossil Fuel Powered Carbon Bombs
Now is the Time to End our Reliance on Fossil Fuels: Worldwatch Institute Report
Fossil Fuels are making the Planet Uninhabitable
Burning Fossil Fuels and Staying Within the 2 Degree Limit
4 Principles for Climate and Energy Legislation
Curbing Fossil Fuels is Essential to Climate Change Mitigation
Pursuing a Moratorium on New Fossil Fuel Development
Canadians Disappointed with Conservatives
Harper and Abbott United in their Love of Fossil Fuels
Report - Greenhouse Gas Emissions from the Canadian Oil and Gas Sector 
A Not So Happy Canada Day for the Environment
Good News for the Environment on Canada Day
Canadian Conservatives Undermine Democracy and Environmental Protections
Top Canadian Environmental Defense Issues in 2013
Harper Government's Tragic Environmental Record is Cause for National Shame
The Tar Sands Have Higher Emissions Profiles than Previously Thought
Increases in Tar Sands Production Will Guarantee the Worst Impacts of Climate Change
The Tar Sands and IEA's Three Climate Change Scenarios
Canada's Ruling Conservatives at War with Science
Taxpayers Money to Promote Fossil Fuels Brought to you by Canada's Ruling Federal Conservatives
Canadian Energy Espionage in Support of the Tar Sands
Video - The Tar Sands Give Canada the Worst Climate Record in the Western World
Canadian Implications of Obama's National Climate Strategy
Leading Canadian Economist to Tell Europeans about the Climate Impacts of the Tar Sands
Climate Scientists' Urge Canadian Minister to Back-off Expanded Fossil Fuel Production
Canada at Odds with US and China on Climate Change
Report Urges Canada's Federal Conservatives to Regulate Oil and Gas Sector to Meet GHG Targets
Canada Pulls out of Kyoto
Conservative Budget Guts the Environment
Canadian Government Spending on Dirty Projects
Canada is a Dirty Energy Superpower
Canada has the Dirtiest Oil on Earth (Video)
Report: Canadian Government is Not Helping Business Prepare for Climate Change
Merkel and Harper: Two Opposing Energy Visions

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