Emissions Reduction Fund Onshore Program Making Major Strides in Cutting Methane Emissions
Methane is responsible for around 30 percent of the global rise in temperatures to date and accounts for about 13 percent of Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing methane emissions is a key part of Canada’s strengthened climate plan to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
Today, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, announced that after one year of its launch, the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) Onshore Program is making major strides in reducing methane emissions by helping oil and gas companies adopt clean technologies while maintaining jobs in the sector.
The ERF was launched in fall 2020 as a COVID-19 response measure to maintain employment and support oil and gas workers and local communities during the pandemic. Small and medium-sized companies as well as communities across Western Canada including Estevan, Saskatchewan; Brandon, Manitoba; and Slave Lake, Alberta, where projects are underway, have been able to benefit directly from this program.
To date, companies have received $134 million in ERF funding to support 81 projects that are anticipated to result in reductions of 4.6 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in the first year following project completion — comparable to removing one million passenger vehicles from our roads for one year. These projects are a low-cost way to reduce harmful emissions while concurrently supporting jobs and local communities. These reductions will be largely achieved by small and medium-sized companies in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and British Columbia.
Minister Wilkinson will mark the results to date of the ERF during his visit to Calgary, where he will hold a roundtable with the Calgary Chamber of Commerce and the Business Council of Alberta and also meet representatives from the oil and gas sector.
The ERF is one of many key measures that support decarbonization in the oil and gas sector, but the government recognizes that further climate action is needed to achieve Canada’s climate goals. This is why the government put a price on carbon pollution, committed to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050, and announced its commitments to developing a plan to reduce methane emissions across the broader Canadian economy and to reducing oil and gas methane emissions by at least 75 percent below 2012 levels by 2030.
“The Emissions Reduction Fund helped maintain jobs and lower emissions in Canada’s oil and gas sector during the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a critical support program for small and medium-sized Canadian companies in the energy sector, and our government is proud to have supported workers while lowering emissions."
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Natural Resources Canada
“The Town of Slave Lake is excited to see investment by the federal government in projects and companies within the Slave Lake Region that are committed to providing jobs while continuing to reduce emissions."
Mayor Tyler Warman
Town of Slave Lake
- The ERF Onshore Program is now in its third intake period. If companies would like to take advantage of this funding, the program will be accepting applications until January 7, 2022. Eligible onshore oil and gas companies are encouraged to apply through the ERF website. Additional details on the offshore streams can also be found online.
- Methane is a potent greenhouse gas and short-lived climate pollutant that has 86 times the warming power of carbon dioxide for 20 years after being released into the atmosphere.