Getting to Net-Zero: The Role of Canada’s Transportation Sector
Panel: Peter Tertzakian, Kris Smith, Merran Smith
May 27, 2021
With Canada’s plan to reach Net-Zero Emissions by 2050, how will we make this happen while continuing to move people and goods from coast-to-coast-to-coast and beyond? Join our panelists as they discuss how Canada’s transportation sector will play an important role in the low-carbon future. From gasoline and diesel to electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles, Canadians have never had more choices when it comes to their mobility. Government policy – both federal and provincial – is also a key factor. Our panel of energy influencers will describe what’s ahead on our road to Net-Zero in Canada.
Deputy Director, ARC Energy Research Institute
A respected public speaker, podcaster, blogger and author, Peter has devoted his career to energy, first as a geophysicist, then as an economist and investment strategist. Peter has written two bestsellers — A Thousand Barrels a Second and The End of Energy Obesity — and recently launched his new project, Energyphile, and book, The Investor Visit and Other Stories: Disruption, Denial and Transition in the Energy Business. Passionate about studying how society evolves its energy use and applying lessons of the past to today’s strategic business issues, Peter created Energyphile to encourage people to think about the energy business in a whole new way.
In 2015 Peter was seconded to the four-person Royalty Review Panel for the province of Alberta — the world’s eighth largest producer of oil and gas — where he led the redesign of the fiscal policy. In 2016 he was inducted into the Alberta Petroleum Hall of Fame. Peter is an adjunct professor at the University of Calgary, and in 2020 became an Executive-in-Residence at the Ivey Energy Policy and Management Centre at the Ivey Business School, Western University.
Peter and his colleague Jackie Forrest also host the ARC Energy Ideas podcast, exploring trends influencing the energy industry.
Executive VP, Suncor
Kris Smith is the Executive Vice-President of Downstream. In this role, Kris is responsible for the operations of Suncor’s refining network in North America, including the distribution and marketing of refined products under the Petro-Canada brand, as well as Suncor’s renewable energy business.
Kris is accountable for the establishment and achievement of all Downstream business objectives of Suncor and is a member of Suncor’s Executive Leadership Team.
Since joining Suncor in 2000, Kris has held a variety of roles, including positions in the General Counsel’s office and leading business services, strategic planning, and business development in Suncor’s US downstream business. In 2007, Kris joined Suncor’s Oil Sands business where he held increasingly senior roles managing business services, strategic planning, production planning and logistics, and the operation of Suncor’s power generation, transmission assets and utility operations. Prior to his current role, Kris was Senior Vice-President of Supply, Trading and Corporate Development, accountable for corporate strategic planning, crude supply and marketing, as well as the corporate process and information office.
Kris obtained his bachelor of arts with honours from the University of Alberta in 1992, and his bachelor of laws from Dalhousie University in 1995. Kris has also completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. Prior to joining Suncor, Kris was a lawyer at a respected law firm in Calgary, Alberta and has also been a member of both the Alberta and Colorado bars.
Kris sits on the board of directors for the Canadian Fuels Association, the association for Canada’s petroleum refining, distribution and marketing sector. Kris also sits on the board of directors of Actua, Canada’s largest science, technology, engineering and mathematics youth outreach organization and Evok Innovations, a technology and innovation fund established by Suncor Energy and Cenovus.
Founder and Executive Director, Clean Energy Canada
Merran Smith is a fellow at the Simon Fraser University Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue, and the founder and executive director of Clean Energy Canada—a leading think tank advancing clean energy and climate solutions.
Merran serves as co-chair of the B.C. government’s Climate Solutions Council, a member of the independent Task Force for a Resilient Recovery, and a Canadian representative of the C3E International Ambassador Corps. Her 2018 work as co-chair of Natural Resources Canada’s Generation Energy Council helped ideas from a diverse group of stakeholders coalesce into recommendations that will shape Canada’s energy future.
For most of her career, Merran has worked to unite industry, government, and civil society organizations to solve pressing social and ecological challenges. Her leadership in the landmark Great Bear Rainforest conservation agreement helped ensure the protection of thousands of kilometres of coastal ecosystem.
Merran has received numerous leadership distinctions, including being named to Vancouver Magazine’s 2020 Power 50 List, winning the 2019 SFU President’s Social Media Newsmaker Award, Clean Energy BC’s 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award, the Vancouver Board of Trade’s 2016 Wendy McDonald Community Catalyst award, and the Clean 16 award in 2014 for leadership in clean capitalism.