Leading international research in CCS technology bolsters Canada’s position as a world leader in science and technological innovation. Through technology, Canada can offer the world a vital solutions set in meeting the challenges of climate change.
The challenges of climate change are not simply those of transitioning to newer forms of energy, but doing so in a way that gives society and economies the much needed time to adjust to change. As indicated in the scenarios work done by Canada's National Energy Board (NEB), it is expected that fossil fuels will continue to dominate energy demand in the near future.
Canada has abundant energy resources, and its fossil fuels in particular are world-class in scale. With the recent addition of Alberta's vast oil sands deposits to its total reserves, Canada quickly became the second largest nation in terms of established reserves in 2002, with 178 billion barrels in place (NEB, 2004). Canadian coal reserves are also large at 6.6 billion tonnes (WEC, 2004).
Fossil fuels are of strategic national importance to Canada because a number of essential sectors depend on these resources. This includes coal-fired power generation, oil and gas production, oil sands development, petrochemical manufacturing and transportation – much of which helped build Canada as a nation and as such are deeply bound to our shared quality of life.
Developing CCS will enhance the future value of these sectors while increasing the value of industries that use fossil fuels in their day-to-day activities (such as forestry, mining, cement, steel and manufacturing).
It is imperative that Canada aggressively pursue CCS R&D to take advantage of current Canadian strengths and to capitalize on domestic and international opportunities. As already noted, inherent CCS opportunities exist in Canada, which, in combination, set Canada apart from many other parts of the world. These include the nation's current position as a country with: