Canadian Lawyer

March 2022

The most widely read magazine for Canadian lawyers

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Page 42 of 51 41 intensity of its greenhouse gas emissions by 35 per cent by 2030. Together with project partner Cummins, Enbridge recently launched North America's first hydrogen-blending initiative in Ontario. It allows the delivery of blended gas to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. "I'm really proud of how we're progressing with our ESG goals, because these goals are tied to our business plan across the enter- prise, and we have this mindset of being a leader in the space," says Karen Uehara, vice president and corporate secretary at Enbridge. "When we look at potential new invest- ments, we're looking to make sure that they meet our carbon-adjusted hurdle rate, so that's really exciting." Monitoring disclosure requirements is a priority for the legal team at Enbridge, so they engage with regulatory bodies. The team advise on permitting and regulatory considerations for projects and turbines and other equipment procurement. Enbridge often works with joint venture partners, so the legal team craft appropriate government agreements. They also keep an eye on relevant tax incentives and provincial regulations. "The key to the success of any renewable energy projects is very extensive consulta- tion and engagement with stakeholders, customers, Indigenous groups, landowners and government agencies to really under- stand the impact of the projects on these groups and the opportunities it can bring to them as well," says Jennifer Strain, vice presi- dent, corporate law at Enbridge. Ensuring the safety of people and the environment is also vital in all of Enbridge's projects, she says. As the company frequently works on projects in different jurisdictions worldwide, it is advantageous to partner with local players who know the regional regula- tory framework and political environment. "Sustainability is not something that's on the side of someone's desk. It's part and parcel of everything that we do in all our core businesses," says Strain. "It's a really exciting time to be on the ground level of some of the new tax incen- tives and regulatory frameworks that are developing," she adds. In Harvie's view, the renewable energy industry will continue to boom in western Canada, although there will also be more opposition from landowners, he predicts. Bakker adds: "I think there is a ton of opportunity for the renewable energy industry to monetize their assets or finance their development projects through part- nerships with companies that are seeking to meet their emissions targets, compliance obligations, or otherwise achieve those voluntary emissions reduction targets that we're seeing so many companies adopt these days." "ESG is very much becoming table stakes for participation in the economy right now, and to the extent that you're not taking that seriously, your competitors will be, and you'll be left behind" Thomas McInerney, Bennett Jones LLP

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