By John Watson
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
A new report published by the Energy Futures Policy Collaborative was written to provide an innovative framework for the future of Canada’s hydrocarbon industry.
The report, and the project it details, regard using existing hydrocarbon assets and expertise to generate new offerings, feed community markets and hit emissions reduction targets.
Alongside the report was the establishment of an Indigenous Advisory Committee, which aims to provide an Indigenous perspective for realizing the project.
In a press release, Energy Futures Lab noted it will be working with several treaty territories in Alberta, including Treaty 7.
JP Gladeau, principal of Mokwateh, and chair of the indigenous committee within the energy futures lab, said the Indigenous collaboration refers more to consulting with local communities which evolve with the energy sector, rather than to directly impacting specific carbon capture utilization, hydrogen or geothermal projects.
“It’s referring just to the general work with community as Canada and the important role that Alberta specifically has given the suite of assets and the oil and gas sector due to transition and the importance of those relationships with indigenous communities,” he said.
“As we start to expand our energy relationship, or the way that we pursue energy development and the future fit of hydrocarbons, it’s going to continue to involve indigenous views.”
Gladeau explained he believes the collaborations with Indigenous communities will have a tremendous impact in the future of energy projects in the province.
He added much of the uncertainty around hydrocarbon regulations stems from the lack of solid relationships with Indigenous communities, which hampers energy and hydrocarbon project development.
“Indigenous communities want to be at the table, we want the opportunities to grow as energy transition transforms the way that we relate to our energy sector,” he said.
“This offers a really great opportunity to build that economy together, and more importantly, is to build relationships with non-indigenous corporations and governments to make sure that we do this right.”
Gladeau said the impact of developing positive working relationships with Indigenous partners can benefit communication, as well as allowing for more cost-efficient project establishment.
“We are not a monolith. The general impact of having strong partnerships with indigenous communities is that we become allies, and we can start to demonstrate our relationship in developing this new energy transition.”
“The impact can create certainty, and certainty drives down the cost of capital, and it also creates better lines of communication and process when it comes to regulatory work so that we can develop projects in a timely fashion.”
The policy report is available for more information through the Energy Futures Lab Website.
John Watson is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the STRATHMORE TIMES. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. Turtle Island News does not receive LJI government funding.