Pembina Institute

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Pembina Institute
Pembina Institute.png
Founded1985, Drayton Valley, Alberta, Canada
FocusSustainable energy, Climate change, Oil sands
Area served
MethodResearch, convening, consulting, communication

The Pembina Institute is a Canadian non-profit think tank focused on energy. Founded in 1985, the institute has offices in Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa and Vancouver.[1]


The Pembina Institute was formed following the 1981 Lodgepole sour gas accident in Alberta, which killed two people and polluted the air for weeks. A small group of rural Albertans came together to secure tougher regulations for drilling sour gas wells, and later went on to form the Pembina Institute.[2]


The Pembina Institute advocates policies that reduce the use of fossil fuels, and supports the transition to cleaner energy sources.[3]

The institute’s current work is regionally focused. In Alberta they call for restricting energy development (conventional and unconventional oil and gas as well as oilsands) to limits supported by science. They promote renewable energy sources including wind and solar, and advocate shutting down coal-fired electricity plants. They support energy efficiency policies and actions in communities and businesses, and improved building efficiency. They have called for expanding transit infrastructure and limiting urban sprawl in the Greater Toronto Area. They have supported the carbon tax in British Columbia and in Alberta, and called for stronger climate action from the Canadian federal government, including action on reducing methane emissions.[4]


The Pembina Institute was also involved in the "Renewable is Doable"[5] initiative with WWF-Canada to replace coal and nuclear power with clean energy sources.

The institute is a member of the Alberta Energy Efficiency Alliance.[6] It is also a supporting member of the Strathmere group, an assembly of the heads of eleven of Canada’s leading environmental organizations.[7]

The institute’s educational initiatives were moved to an independent organization, Green Learning Canada, in 2011.

Intervener standing[edit]

In 2012, Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development denied the institute standing to express concerns about an in situ oilsands project near Fort McMurray, Alberta. The decision was appealed, and on October 1, 2013, the decision was overturned by the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench.[8][9]


The Pembina Institute is primarily funded by a range of project-specific grants, event sponsorships (including those from energy companies such as Suncor, Shell and Bullfrog Power)[10] and individual donations. The Institute also performs fee-for-service research and advising to government and industry.


External links[edit]