Toronto | Traditional territories of the Huron-Wendat, the Anishnaabeg, Haudenosaunee, Chippewas and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation

The emissions intensity of Canadian oil and gas increased by 3% from 2010 to 2020, according to the Canadian Energy Centre, the Alberta Government-funded “Energy War Room.” For years, Canada’s oil and gas industry has claimed that the industry is reducing the emissions intensity of its products (eg. #8 here), meaning the emissions created per unit of oil and gas produced. So it is revealing  to learn that, in reality, the opposite has happened. Overall this means that every barrel of oil or cubic metre of Canadian oil and gas is on average more polluting today than it was a decade ago. Unfortunately, many people in Canada and around the world have been misled by the industry’s misinformation about emissions intensity, which has created a false sense of environmental credibility.

Quick facts:

  • In addition to Canadian oil and gas being more polluting now, it is also being produced in much greater quantities. The Canadian Energy Centre reports that production of oil and gas increased 41% over the same period (2010-2020).
  • Emissions intensity is likely increasing because of two major factors:
    • the fracking boom of the last decade, which releases large quantities of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
    • A shift in the oilsands from open-pit mining to a more emissions-intensive process called in situ mining.
  • Even if emissions intensity were to decline, it is not nearly a sufficient emissions reduction program to reach Canada’s climate targets

ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE ( Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.

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For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

Dave Gray-Donald, Environmental Defence,