When governments are led in developing more sustainable options by energy companies that have — for decades — run their operations using tried and true and less-than-green methods, something is wrong.
This is the conclusion that a report from think tank Sustainable Prosperity, discussing the use of shadow carbon pricing by leading energy companies across the country.
The report, which surveyed ten companies in Canada including Shell, Suncor, Cenovus, Enbridge, Ontario Power Generation and SaskPower, said that the companies are using shadow pricing — essentially, the hypothetical pricing of carbon to reflect future costs — in order to judge the cost-effectiveness of reducing or offsetting carbon emissions.
“Companies are using a shadow carbon price to inform long-term strategic planning and investment decisions,” said Alex Wood, the think tank’s director of policy and markets.
As such, the survey suggests, many of Canada’s energy companies are already in position for the federal government to take point on a carbon price strategy in order to reduce carbon emissions.
Whether or not the Harper administration will harness this information to their benefit remains unknown, but with the environment likely to be a focus in future elections, the survey could provide Conservative Party adversaries with the ammunition they need to knock Harper out of 24 Sussex Drive.