Greenhouse Gas Innovation

COSIA is a catalyst for Canadian climate leadership—driven by cleantech innovation.

Canadians expect climate leadership and Canada’s oil sands companies are working to deliver that through innovative technology that has and will deliver significant greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions.

Through COSIA, and working with scientists and academics from around the world, our members are progressing ground-breaking emissions reduction technologies. These range from energy efficiencies and improved emissions monitoring to game-changers with the potential to transform how oil sands are extracted from the ground through to the capture, storage and utilization of carbon.


GHG 101: Understanding Greenhouse Gases

GHG’s, carbon, climate change – big topics, and sometimes confusing. Check our “101 Q&A” on this topic to learn the basics, get a better understanding of the issues and discover how the oil sands and making progress on this front.

Quick Stats:

  • Through COSIA, members have developed 168 GHG related technologies at a cost of $239 million.
  • A recent IHS Markit Report states that the GHG intensity of the oil sands sector declined by 20 per cent between 2009 and 2018.
  • The same report states that technologies in the making may further reduce sector emissions by 16-23 per cent by 2030. Emerging technologies may deliver even more significant reductions.

Greening Oil Sands Extraction

New technologies combined with better operational efficiency has allowed the oil sands industry to decrease per-barrel GHG emissions by 28 per cent between 2000 and 2017. Through COSIA, producers are exploring a wide range of technologies to reduce energy use and associated greenhouse gas emissions. Read more about our work in this space:


Carbon Capture: A Pathway to Net-zero Emissions

Carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) is one of today’s most promising technologies to significantly reduce global CO2 emissions from large industrial sources, and the oil sands industry is leading technology development on this front. One of our members has achieved significant advancement in this area and is the largest industry owner of CCUS capacity in Canada. Read on about the oil sands industry’s work in this area:


Carbon Technology Taking Off

The NRG COSIA Carbon XPRIZE competition has been showcasing carbon utilization technologies to the world to elevate and broaden the discussion around clean tech and climate change. The competition, which seeks to turn captured carbon into usable products, also leaves behind important infrastructure that supports ongoing research and development. Learn more about the potential legacy of this exciting competition:


Changing our World: Clean Steam

Steam plays an important role in the oil sands, but creating that steam also creates emissions. That’s one of the reasons we’re looking to clean steam, through a collaborative effort with SAIT’s Once Through Steam Generator Applied Research Laboratory. Discover how this work has potential to both reduce emissions and improve water use:


GHG Innovation Opportunity: Natural Gas Decarbonization

Do you want to play a game-changing role in the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions? COSIA is looking for technologies that will partially or completely remove the carbon content of natural gas. Your knowledge could help us improve the environmental performance of Canada’s oil sands. Dive into this or one of our other innovation opportunities and be a Hero of Tomorrow!

Enter the world of innovation in the oil sands—learn about new technologies, ideas and people that are making Canadian energy part of a sustainable environment—through our blog!


  • Check out our 2019 Annual Report, featuring the innovation advanced in the oil sands through COSIA last year and the gains in environmental performance that were achieved.
  • Sign up for our newsletter to make sure you’re super up-to-date with the latest innovation stories and milestones!
  • Ready to roll up your sleeves and get some homework done? Geek out with all of our GHG research!


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. Simply put, we’re here to help our industry produce the energy our world needs in a way that will make everyone proud.