Canada's oil sands industry works to reduce air emissions associated with our development activities through project design, operational excellence, innovation and technology.

Canada, with 0.5 per cent of the world's population, produces about 2 per cent of global CO2 equivalent emissions. Oil sands account for 9.8 per cent of Canada's GHG emissions and about 0.16 per cent of global GHG emissions.

Body Environmental Innovation Air Global Emissions vs Canada Emissions

Source: Environment and Climate Change Canada 2017 & World Resources Institute 2013

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are important in a global context. Other air emissions associated with oil sands development are important at the local level. These emissions include nitrogen dioxide (NO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2) and fine particulate matter, which are primarily created through fuel combustion in facilities and vehicles.

Learn more about GHG emissions and air quality and monitoring in Canada's oil sands.

Areas of Focus

Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA) is an alliance of oil sands producers focused on accelerating the pace of improvement in environmental performance in Canada's oil sands through collaborative action and innovation.

Innovating to Compete

Through COSIA, oil sands companies are investigating ways to reduce energy use and associated GHG emissions through the development of innovative technologies for oil sands in situ and mining operations, including:

  • improving energy efficiency in all aspects of oil sands operations, including the production of steam for in situ recovery of bitumen;
  • recovering waste heat for reuse;
  • design and operating best practices;
  • measurement, monitoring, and verification;
  • reducing flaring, venting, and fugitive emissions;
  • CCS of CO2 from steam generators and other large oil sands facilities;
  • producing alternative energy; and
  • exploring regional opportunities to reduce GHG emissions with non-industry parties.


Examples of current COSIA GHG projects include: