Coming across an interesting article today, I started to wonder why Canada has been chasing the oil and gas so intensively. With the world focusing so hard on reducing carbon emission, having carbon trades, set targets, COP21 and many other more centralized initiatives, there is still something unclear about this.
I decided to do some research about the topic. Government and oil companies are always trying to convince us that oil & gas is a long-term plan creating jobs creating a sustaining future economy. I still remember one day in July when Christy Clark (BC’s Prime Minister) said that LNG exploration was a long-term plan. Then she continued her speech mentioning that her plan was for a 20-year duration. It got me thinking: How can a Premier stand in 2015 and qualify a 20-year plan being long-term? In 20 years, I will still be working, my child will be graduating from college and I will still be enjoying the great mountains that British Columbia has to offer. Twenty years is insignificant on humanity’s hence Earth’s timeline. As I continued my research, I quickly discovered that most of all the exploited resource will be going to the Asian market through pipelines through the Great Bear Rain Forest to finish the journey on tankers towards Asia. Now this plan will take a lot of investments to build a pipeline and about a decade to be completed. This is a huge risk to take as we are now seeing the biggest energy supply shift since the the first World War. Who knows what the primary energy source will be 10 years from now? Oil will obviously still be in the picture but will it be going downwards?
As Asia and the world energy demand is expecting to increase by 50% by 2050, we clearly need a cleaner solution than fossil fuels. We can all agree that the energy demand will not decrease for the century to come. The important thing to focus on here is the word “energy” not oil nor natural gas. What does not seem to be considered is that the main client (China) also happens to be the world largest investor of solar energy with $83.3 billion in 2014 a 39% jump from 2013. Following the China, the US who is Canada’s primary market for natural resource exports, investing $38.3 billion in 2014 a 10% jump from the previous year.1
Needless to say that there is major turn happening and it does not look good for the fossil fuel market. The oil barrel price is going down, finding oil is becoming harder and extracting from the ground has become a real challenge. Facing all the issues and barriers, I am still wondering why not only Canada but any other resource based country would not reinvent themselves; slowly phase out from fossil fuels and create a new economy on sustainable energy. The wind and solar industry alone have surpassed fossil fuel employment in Canada. It would also be foolish to think that wind and solar will be the only resource of the future. New technology will be created and added to the mix of renewable energy.
Following this study, I came down to the conclusion that the only reason why Canada is pursuing fossil fuels with such determination must be due to lobbying and getting as much money as possible from a resource that will be obsolete in the next century. Last month, Canadians have elected a new Prime Minister, let’s hope that Canada’s faith will now be in good hands creating a long-lasting economy.