The International Energy Agency's periodic review of Canada's energy policies and programmes. This 2010 edition finds that Canada, with its diverse and balanced portfolio of energy resources, is one of the largest producers and exporters of energy among IEA member countries. The energy sector plays an increasingly important role for the Canadian economy and for global energy security, as its abundant resource base has the potential to deliver even greater volumes of energy.
The federal, provincial and territorial governments of Canada are all strongly committed to the sustainable development of the country’s natural resources and have a long-standing and informed awareness of the need for each to contribute to the development of the energy sector. Furthermore, the government of Canada seeks to achieve a balance between the environmentally responsible production and use of energy, the growth and competitiveness of the economy, and secure and competitively priced energy and infrastructure.
Nonetheless, the long-term sustainability of the sector remains a challenge. Due to climatic, geographic and other factors, Canada is one of the highest per-capita CO2 emitters in the OECD and has higher energy intensity than any IEA member country. A comprehensive national energy efficiency strategy, coupled with a coordinated climate change policy targeted at the key emitting sectors, is needed.
Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is a priority for the federal government and presents Canada with an opportunity to develop a new technology that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a large scale. The IEA recommends that Canada provide international leadership in the development of CCS technology.
This review analyses the energy challenges facing Canada and provides sectoral critiques and recommendations for further policy improvements.