Canada can become a world leader on climate action through a united commitment to technology and innovation, and by continuing to develop its natural gas sector responsibly.
The global impact from Canadian natural gas presents a significant environmental benefit. Natural gas is the cleanest-burning hydrocarbon – emitting about half the greenhouse gases that coal does, when used in electricity generation.
Exports of Canadian LNG to Asia, for example, would help displace the use of coal to generate electricity and increase natural gas powered vehicles —resulting in lower levels of smog and decreased GHG emissions. In fact, for every 1,000 MW of coal-fired power generation converted to natural gas powered electricity, annual CO2 equivalent emissions are reduced by 4.4 million tonnes or just over one half of one per cent of Canada’s total.
The expanded use of natural gas as a fuel for vehicles also reduces GHG emissions between 17 and 19 per cent when compared to diesel fuel vehicles (source: Canadian Natural Gas Vehicle Alliance), and natural gas vehicles produce about 18 per cent fewer smog pollutants.
A partner with renewable energy
Natural gas can also play an important role in advancing renewable energy here at home and globally. Used as a partner with renewable energy, natural gas can be added to the electrical grid to fill the gap when intermittent renewables, such as wind and solar, are not available.
According to a National Energy Board report, electrical generation capacity in Canada will have to grow 27 per cent by 2035 in order to meet increasing demand with natural gas-fired and renewable-based energy showing the largest increases. The NEB expects electrical generation from natural gas to increase from nine per cent to 15 per cent and generation from renewables to grow from three per cent to 12 per cent. (Source: Canada’s Energy Future: Energy Supply and Demand Projections to 2035)