Home Month and Year March 2021 Students in support of responsible resource development

Students in support of responsible resource development

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Cody Battershill

From Nova Scotia to Quebec to British Columbia, Canadian liquified natural gas (LNG) exports look to have real potential. That’s good news for Canadians, as Canada will soon be ready to provide cleaner-burning fuel for energy generation in Asia and other regions.

Since Canada ranks number one on virtually any reputable list that compares the top global energy suppliers in the areas of environment, social issues and governance, such a strong rating can bring real value, and could even help earn us preferred supplier status when the markets come to understand our rigorous systems and the benefits they provide for people, communities and the environment.

But there’s a lot more to the Canadian energy story than the fact our product leads in every ESG category.

The Canadian men and women, the families they raise, the governments they support through their taxes and the Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities where they live are a huge part of that story.

Some good news is that more Canadians, including students who have taken up the energy dialogue at various university campuses across Canada, are joining the discussion.

Students for Canada (SFC) is Canada Action’s youth advocacy initiative, created by students, for students. Recently two SFC student members, U of Alberta MSc students Daniel Baker and Skye Lybbert, initiated a letter to the Prime Minister.

They urged the federal government to expand Canada’s energy horizons, support renewable energy development, ensure Canada has a role in providing technology and environmental leadership for oil and gas and ensure Indigenous communities can reap the benefits of their lands and employment in the resource sector.

Signed by 3,000 fellow students and Canadians, the letter resulted in a substantive Zoom meeting with Minister of Natural Resources, the Hon. Seamus O’Regan. Watch for further follow-ups from this important initiative.

Analysts expect oil and gas demand – including LNG – will continue to grow for decades, so it’s likely Canadian product will retain its fundamental role within our global energy mix.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the world will need between $12 and $17 trillion of additional investment in oil and gas by 2040 to avoid supply shortages. The IEA also expects demand for liquefied natural gas will double in that same timeframe.

It seems the students who recently formed SFC are entering the discussion at a crucial time. Let me close with a paragraph from the students’ letter to the Prime Minister:

“We’re proud to have worked in, and to be associated with, Canada’s energy sector through our master’s research. We believe an optimistic attitude and a change in language will act as a catalyst for growth towards cleaner energy and more energy opportunities here in Canada. We are looking forward to observing action attributable to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s commitment to Canadian energy.”

Exactly.

Cody Battershill is a Calgary realtor and founder / spokesperson for CanadaAction.ca, a volunteer-initiated group that supports Canadian energy development and the environmental, social and economic benefits that come with it.

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