Suncor Energy

InfluenceMap Score
Performance Band
Organisation Score
Relationship Score
Modifications to InfluenceMap Scoring
Calgary, Canada
Brands and Associated Companies
Official Web Site:

Climate Lobbying Overview: Suncor appears to have mixed engagement with climate change policy and regulation. Although it accepts the science of climate change and supports the temperature goals of the IPCC, its messaging on the future energy mix appears to be less positive.

Top-line Messaging on Climate Policy: Suncor's messaging on climate policy appears to be positive. Suncor has a clear position on the science of climate change and in its 2020 sustainability report, states support for the aim of the Paris Agreement to keep global warming below 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels. Also in its 2020 sustainability report, Suncor states support for environmental policies and regulations that address climate change, such as a carbon price that encourages ‘low-carbon innovation’. In June 2021, Suncor and other major Canadian oil sands producers formed the Oil Sands Pathway to Net-Zero, an alliance that aims for net-zero emissions from Canadian oil sands production, within which it states support for the net-zero by 2050 target and for the Paris Agreement.

Engagement with Climate-Related Regulations: Suncor appears to support the introduction of a carbon intensity target for fossil fuels. In its 2020 CDP response, Suncor appears to support a carbon pricing mechanism which uses carbon intensity standards for different fuel types rather than a carbon tax. This type of pricing mechanism would then tax the least efficient producers rather than tax all oil and gas production. Within the same response, Suncor also states ‘support with exceptions’ for British Columbia’s Renewable and Low Carbon Fuel Requirement Regulation, although it is unclear from Suncors response what these exceptions are.

Positioning on Energy Transition: Suncor appear to seek the continued expansion for the role of oil and gas in the energy-mix. Although in 2020 Suncor stated support for the transition to a low emissions future, other statements on the future energy-mix do not appear to support this view. In a 2019 speech, current CEO Mark Little appeared to support the continued role of oil in the energy-mix for the next 50 years. In its 2020 sustainability report, Suncor stresses the importance of meeting the energy needs in developing countries and growing global populations. In the same year, Little echoed this view, stating the importance of relieving energy poverty in the developing world and appears to suggest that oil sands would qualify as a fuel source in a low emissions future, stating: ‘I look at it and think, this could be one of the lowest emission sources of oil globally going forward and that’s the challenge that we’ve put to ourselves.” ... So it’s kind of like, ‘ok, is it zero?’ No it’s not zero, we need to deal with that and maybe we need to offset some of it,”. Through its membership of the Oil Sands Pathway to Net-Zero alliance, it recognizes the need to reduce emissions from oil sands and that alternative energy sources will play an increasingly important role, but also highlights the need for fossil fuels through 2050 and the continuation of tax credits for oil sands production.

Industry Association Governance:Suncor discloses a list of Canadian industry associations it holds memberships with in the appendix of its 2020 sustainability report, however no details are given on the industry associations positions on climate change policy, if Suncor is aligned with the associations, or how Suncor influences these associations. Nevertheless, Suncor holds memberships with numerous associations that traditionally lobby negatively on climate change, such as American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers and the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP). However, in its 2020 CDP response, Suncor disclosed that it is not aligned with the climate change stance held by CAPP, despite CEO Mark Little sitting on the CAPP board of governors.

Main Web Site Social Media CDP Responses Legislative Consultations Media Reports CEO Messaging Financial Disclosures
Communication of Climate Science
2 2 NA NS NS 2 NS
Alignment with IPCC on Climate Action
1 1 NA NS NS -1 NS
Supporting the Need for Regulations
0 NS NA 2 0 0 NS
Support of UN Climate Process
1 1 NA NS NS 1 0
Transparency on Legislation
Carbon Tax
0 -1 -1 NS 0 1 NS
Emissions Trading
0 1 -1 NS -1 1 NS
Energy and Resource Efficiency
0 1 2 NS NS NS NS
Renewable Energy
0 0 0 NS NS NS NS
Energy Transition & Zero Carbon Technologies
-1 -1 0 NS -2 -1 -1
GHG Emission Regulation
0 -1 0 -2 1 -1 NS
Disclosure on Relationships
-1 NS -1 NA NA NA NS
Strength of Relationship

How to Read our Relationship Score Map

In this section, we depict graphically the relationships the corporation has with trade associations, federations, advocacy groups and other third parties who may be acting on their behalf to influence climate change policy. Each of the columns above represents one relationship the corporation appears to have with such a third party. In these columns, the top, dark section represents the strength of the relationship the corporation has with the influencer. For example if a corporation's senior executive also held a key role in the trade association, we would deem this to be a strong relationship and it would be on the far left of the chart above, with the weaker ones to the right. Click on these grey shaded upper sections for details of these relationships. The middle section contains a link to the organization score details of the influencer concerned, so you can see the details of its climate change policy influence. Click on the middle sections for for details of the trade associations. The lower section contains the organization score of that influencer, the lower the more negatively it is influencing climate policy.