Canadian Manufacturing

Chemistry sector positioned to provide low-carbon products: report

A report from the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada says the Canadian chemistry sector is well positioned to leverage the country's low-carbon resources: natural gas and natural gas liquids, hydroelectricity and biomass


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OTTAWA—A new report from the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) says the Canadian chemistry sector is uniquely positioned to fight climate change by developing low-carbon products.

The report, Chemistry: Essential to Canada’s Transition to a Low-Carbon Energy Future, says Canada’s abundant, low-carbon resources, such as natural gas and natural gas liquids, enable chemistry products that are 80 per cent less greenhouse gas-intensive than those from some European or Asian markets, which rely on crude oil or coal as their feedstock.

CIAC argues that the chemistry sector is well positioned to leverage hydroelectricity and biomass as well.

“As we confront the impacts of climate change, exploring low-carbon energy solutions is top of mind for Canadians and policy makers. With the right policies, the chemistry sector could attract $25 billion in new investments by 2025 and significantly contribute to lowering greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions globally,” said CIAC President and CEO Bob Masterson in a press release.

“If Canada misses out on investment opportunities due to the competitive nature of the industry, production will shift to countries with more carbon-intensive chemical operations.”

The sector has reduced its overall GHG emissions by 67 per cent since 1992 as a result of significant investment, and it makes possible advances in other climate-friendly technologies like building insulation, lighter plastics for automobiles, solar panels and wind turbines.

Globally, chemical manufacturing contributes 7 per cent of total GHG emissions. In Canada, by contrast, the sector accounts for less than 2 per cent of the national GHG inventory, which CIAC says is thanks to a commitment to innovation from industry and support from government.

Chemistry is the 4th largest manufacturing sector in Canada, directly responsible for 87,000 jobs and supporting another 525,000 jobs, and the report says it has an important role to play in the circular economy.

Read the full report here.


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