Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,
I welcome the visit to Canada by Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida to discuss global security issues, including energy security. Given Alberta’s close cultural and economic integration with Japan and given our role in supplying responsible energy to the world, I urge you to raise Alberta’s strong desire to supply affordable, sustainable and reliable energy to Japan.
Alberta has a deep, long-standing relationship with Japan at both the federal and subnational levels, which has always included significant engagement on energy issues. In November 2021, Alberta signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC), to expand market access for Alberta’s energy sector, and renewed a commitment to natural resource cooperation and development, including improving cooperation on environmental technologies like hydrogen, ammonia and carbon capture, utilization and storage. WestJet’s recent announcement of direct flights between Calgary and Tokyo further underscores the enduring nature of the relationship.
Japan is the second largest global importer of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), and nearly 10% of its total LNG imports in 2021 originated from Russia, presenting significant challenges given the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. Alberta is proud to be one of the most responsible producers of oil and gas globally and we can be the supplier of choice for our global allies. Our unparalleled energy resources, commitment to emissions reduction and historical connections with Japan position us to be a key contributor to Japan’s efforts to diversify its LNG supply to one that is responsibly developed by a key ally.
It is within this context that I was encouraged to hear Deputy Prime Minister Freeland commit to fast-tracking energy and mining projects in the name of economic security for our democratic partners. I am certain that it is equally welcome news to our international allies and partners who are keen to work with us to access and develop our resources. Alberta believes there is a strong business case for shipping responsibly produced energy to Japan and other allies.
Alberta, both through government and industry, is leading the way on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Alberta’s energy firms are committing to invest $24 billion on projects to help reduce annual GHG emissions from operations by 22 million tonnes by 2030 and achieve a goal of net-zero by 2050. Examples include Air Products’ multi-billion-dollar landmark net-zero hydrogen energy complex that will make Alberta the centre of Canada’s hydrogen economy and Dow’s construction of the world's first net-zero carbon emission integrated polyethylene complex at its site in Fort Saskatchewan.
Alberta is also recognized as a leader in sound and practical regulation of our oil and gas industry. Based on the 2021 reporting year, Alberta has already reduced methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 44 percent from the 2014 baseline – well ahead of our goal of at least 45 percent by 2025. We continue to push for additional improvements and opportunities to drive deeper reductions. The management of oil and gas methane emissions is one of Canada’s greatest climate success stories, and as an industry-leader in this area, there is much that Alberta can share with Japan on lessons learned.
It is critical that Canada maintain a strong presence on the world energy stage, preventing despotic rulers with little concern for the environmental and human impacts of their energy production to fill the vacuum. Positioning ourselves to be the preferred supplier of responsibly produced energy to the world is good for our allies and good for all Canadians.
As provinces are the owners and stewards of their own natural resources, any discussions regarding the potential export of energy must fully involve the impacted provinces. Alberta would be pleased to help the federal government develop the business case and participate in the development of an MOU with Japan for the increased export of clean Albertan LNG.
I look forward to working with you on additional follow up items from the visit.