Our views on hot topics

This page provides Cenovus's view on current topics affecting our industry and how they shape the work we do. Hot topics related to the energy industry don't just affect the industry. They affect all Canadians. Topics like climate change, a price on carbon and new pipeline projects.

To share your perspective, contact us at questions&comments@cenovus.com.

Hot topics

Our view on the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples

In May 2016, the Government of Canada joined Alberta in announcing that it is adopting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers has expressed its support for the adoption of UNDRIP in a way that is consistent with the Constitution and Canadian law, and Cenovus is fully aligned with that position.

We believe the declaration provides a framework for reconciliation in Canada and establishes an important set of standards to help ensure Indigenous rights are respected around the world. We also believe that meaningful consultation is at the heart of the declaration. By engaging in meaningful consultation, industry and Indigenous communities can better understand potential issues related to development and can work together to mitigate them even before projects begin.

At Cenovus, we have always strived to meet or exceed the requirements for consultation by engaging in respectful and ongoing discussions with our Aboriginal neighbours. Through this approach, we’ve built strong working relationships that have allowed us to complete decades-long community agreements with many of the Indigenous communities near our operations. These agreements provide funding that can be used for community enhancement, heritage projects and education and training to help community members participate in job opportunities. We also work to create business opportunities wherever possible. Since 2009, Cenovus has spent approximately $1.8 billion doing business with Aboriginal companies.

Our view on climate change

We share the public’s concern that climate change is one of the greatest global challenges of our times. As an oil producer, we’re committed to doing our part to address climate change. That means finding solutions that will reduce and potentially eliminate emissions both from the production of oil and from its use. Solutions that will ensure oil can continue to play a role in enhancing the quality of life around the world.

To learn more about our work and the actions we’re taking to mitigate climate change, visit our climate change page.

Our view on a price on carbon in Canada

We support a price on carbon – for the companies that produce oil as well as the consumers who use the product – and have since we launched as a company. We believe the funds from a price on carbon should be directed toward the development of new technologies that will further reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Having a price on carbon is one of the fairest and best ways to stimulate innovation to reduce the emissions associated with oil, while protecting the competitiveness of Canada’s oil industry on an international playing field. We support the government of Alberta’s climate change plan related to the oil and natural gas industry, which includes a carbon pricing regime coupled with an overall emissions limit for the oil sands. These measures provide greater predictability and certainty for producers to invest in the growth of this significant Canadian resource while also addressing global concerns about climate change.

Read more about our support in this news release.

Our view on new pipeline projects

We’re supportive of all projects that would open up access to new markets for our oil. Pipelines have proven to be the safest and most efficient means of moving oil from production fields to refineries. Of all the oil and refined products Canadian and U.S. pipeline companies transported between 2002 and 2015, 99.99 percent was transported safely1. Stringent monitoring is in place and helps to minimize the occurrence of an incident. Emergency response plans and procedures are also a critical component of safe pipeline operation. These plans allow pipeline operators to respond effectively and quickly to any emergency that could impact the public and the environment.

We believe expanding pipeline capacity is in the interest of all Canadians. Without access to new markets, Canada's oil industry will continue to receive a lower price for oil products because we're limited to primarily one customer - the United States. New pipelines that provide access to marine ports will create opportunities to sell our oil to new customers all around the world, which will benefit the entire Canadian economy.

We support new pipeline projects, including Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain Expansion pipeline to the West Coast, as well as TransCanada’s proposed Energy East pipeline to the East Coast. These projects will be state-of-the-art and use steel and anti-corrosion coatings. They will be among the strongest and safest pipelines ever built.

Our view on Alberta's royalty review

A panel appointed by the Alberta government reviewed the royalty framework for the province’s oil, natural gas and oil sands and its recommendations were made public on January 29, 2016. We believe the review’s broad consultation process was thorough and gave all interested parties the opportunity to provide input on this important matter for all Albertans.

The release of the royalty review panel report was an important step in establishing a clear and certain fiscal and regulatory framework for our industry, which is critical for the attraction and retention of investment capital.

We feel the proposals in the royalty review report acknowledge the challenging economic environment currently faced by Alberta energy companies. In light of that challenge, we’re pleased with the recommendation for oil sands royalty rates to remain the same. We also support the recommendation to encourage partial upgrading technologies to add value right here in Alberta.

What’s important now as we move forward is that industry and government continue to collaborate on ways to help ensure Alberta’s oil and natural gas resources are both cost and carbon competitive with other jurisdictions. The recommendations from the royalty review, along with the recently announced climate policy, help set the province along that path.