Canadian Manufacturing

Canada’s Emissions Reduction Fund Onshore Program update

Minister of Natural Resources, Jonathan Wilkinson announced that the ERF Onshore Program will be refocused to better support the government's climate change goals.

December 22, 2021  by CM Staff

OTTAWA — Methane is responsible for approximately 30 per cent of the global rise in temperatures to date and accounts for approximately 13 per cent of Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions, according to a statement from the Canadian government.

In 2020, Canada’s oil and gas sector experienced an unprecedented economic downturn as COVID-19 shut down the world economy. The Government of Canada responded by launching the Emissions Reduction Fund to sustain jobs in oil-producing regions while simultaneously ensuring that work on cutting methane emissions continued despite the economic crisis.

The ERF Onshore Program intends to reduce methane emissions and fight climate change. Companies have been approved for up to $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 roads for one year, according to the statement from Natural Resources Canada.

The federal government also stated that 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.

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Since launching the ERF in fall 2020, Canada has committed to even more ambitious climate action, including a new target to reduce methane emissions in the oil and gas sector by at least 75 percent by 2030 and capping and reducing emissions from the oil and gas sector in line with Canada’s climate goals.

Minister of Natural Resources, Jonathan Wilkinson announced that the ERF Onshore Program will be refocused to better support the government’s climate change goals.

According to a statement from Natural Resources Canada, the changes to the program reflect both the economic situation in Canada’s oil and gas sector since 2020; lessons learned through the first two intakes of the program; the recent audit of the program prepared by the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development; supportive comments on the program from environmental non-governmental organizations; and supportive cooperation from the industry.

“These changes to the third intake of the ERF Onshore Program will ensure our government is investing in high-impact projects aimed at delivering additional emissions reductions sooner than through regulation, while investing in infrastructure that supports Canada’s climate targets,” said Wilkinson in a statement.