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Climate change

Our position on climate change.

The risks associated with climate change are real and warrant action. Increasing carbon emissions in the atmosphere are having a warming effect. There is broad scientific and policy consensus that actions must be taken to further quantify and assess the risks.

Imperial has the same concerns as people everywhere – how to provide the world with the energy it needs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Canada is the fifth-largest crude oil producer in the world and uniquely positioned to provide energy resources for decades to come.  

We are committed to positive action on climate change and dedicated to reducing the risk in the most efficient way for society. 

Imperial is taking action by reducing greenhouse gas emissions in its operations, helping consumers reduce their emissions, supporting research that leads to technology breakthroughs and participating in constructive dialogue on policy options.

Sound climate policies

Society continues to face the dual challenge of expanding energy supplies to support economic growth and improve living standards, while simultaneously addressing the societal and environmental risks posed by rising greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change.

The Paris Agreement is an important step forward by world governments in addressing the serious risks of climate change. Imperial supports the work of the Paris signatories, acknowledges the ambitious goals of this agreement and believes the company has a constructive role to play in developing solutions.

Imperial believes the long-term objective of a climate change policy should be to reduce the risk of serious impacts to humanity and ecosystems at minimum societal cost, while recognizing the importance of safe, reliable, affordable and abundant energy for global economic development. 

We believe that effective policies will be those that: 

  • Promote global participation;
  • Let market prices drive the selection of solutions;
  • Ensure a uniform and predictable cost of GHG emissions across the economy;
  • Minimize complexity and administrative costs;
  • Maximize transparency; and,
  • Provide flexibility for future adjustments to react to developments in climate science and the economic impacts of climate policies.

When such principles inform public policy, they minimize overall costs to society and allow markets to determine the technologies that will be most successful. They also help long-term policies align with differing national priorities as well as adapt to new global realities. 

Addressing climate change, providing economic opportunity and lifting billions of people worldwide out of poverty are complex and interrelated issues requiring complex solutions.

Policymakers around the world currently are considering a variety of legislative and regulatory options to achieve these ends. Among the various proposals, Imperial believes a revenue-neutral carbon tax would be a more effective policy option than cap-and-trade, regulations, mandates, or standards. A properly designed carbon tax can be predictable, transparent, and comparatively simple to understand and implement.