UBC Sauder Executive Education teams up to offer a new program on challenges and opportunities of the global energy transition


New Executive Education program to explore the challenges and opportunities of the global energy transition

Posted 2019-12-17

UBC Sauder Executive Education has partnered with Warwick Business School, Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, LNG Canada and the Province of British Columbia to offer LNG in Canada: Global Challenges and Local Opportunity, an interactive 2.5-day program that will explore the global challenges and local opportunities related to developing a liquified natural gas (LNG) sector in Western Canada.

The program, aimed at engaging stakeholders from across the LNG spectrum in BC and Alberta, will be facilitated by the following three faculty leads:

  • Michael Bradshaw, Warwick Business School: Global energy, strategy and International business
  • Justin Bull, UBC Sauder School of Business: Supply chain management and sustainability
  • Kevin Hanna, Centre for Environmental Assessment Research at UBC: Environmental impact assessment

In addition to these faculty co-leads, the program will bring together industry experts and academics from around the world to engage in meaningful and deep discussion on the role that LNG can play in the drive to decarbonize the planet.

LNG is complicated and at times can be controversial. Understanding the future of this industry requires knowledge of climate change, natural gas extraction, environmental legislation and Indigenous relations. Given that the LNG project represents the single largest private sector investment in BC’s history, the program will be relevant for a wide range of stakeholders from the public and private sector.

Faculty co-leader Justin Bull says the program will enable participants to take a deep dive into a very timely and pressing issue. “There have been a lot of conferences and high-level discussions about what the LNG industry means for B.C. But we have to get into the weeds of this. We have to understand what are the environmental impacts, what is the role of Indigenous peoples in moving these projects forward, what is the global gas market context and what is the energy transition that we are a part of? What we want to do is think deeply, connect with experts, talk to industry leaders, get shared perspectives and have frank and sometimes challenging conversations about what the LNG industry means for British Columbia.”

Professor Bradshaw, co-lead from the Warwick Business School, who has studied oil and gas developments in Russia for more than three decades, says it’s crucial to take a wide view on the global shift to decarbonize. “The local opportunity has to be understood against the global challenges. That’s the theme of this program and we have to think about how B.C., Western Canada and Canada more generally fit into that bigger picture.”

Bradshaw adds it is important to ask the difficult questions in an interactive format as there is a palpable sense of urgency to make changes in our energy production and consumption. “The whole point of this energy transition is that it is being done to address the externalities and the market failure which is climate change. We are not making a transition because we’ve run out of hydrocarbon; we are making the transition because we can’t burn the hydrocarbons we have due to the climate consequences of doing so.”

Kevin Hanna, faculty co-lead and Director of the Centre for Environmental Assessment Research at UBC, will bring his knowledge on environmental impact assessments and regulatory affairs to the discussion. He notes there are many significant factors to consider when looking at LNG projects in B.C. and Alberta such as good planning and comprehensive community engagement. “It is also key to plan early for meaningful Indigenous consultation and purposeful engagement with non-Indigenous communities. And it’s essential to be transparent and open about what you wish to accomplish. There are regional differences on how communities view the industry. In B.C., there are more nuances and variations in how the industry is viewed, while in Alberta the general outlook may be mostly positive since the economy is quite closely tied to the energy industry. There’s a lot to consider.” Hanna also notes while LNG issues in Canada are certainly complex, he believes LNG must be a key player in the shift away from more carbon intensive fuels. “We cannot instantly move to low or no carbon power production, but LNG needs to be part of the critical transition we must make for future generations.”

The topics of governance, environmental sustainability and economic impacts will be the anchor points for the 2.5-day program. The program is designed to be a safe haven for open discussion in a critical, constructive and friendly format. All participants will receive a certificate of completion at the of the program. The program takes place on February 26-28, 2020 at UBC Robson Square.


Faculty bios:

Michael Bradshaw, Warwick Business School
Michael Bradshaw holds a Ph.D in Geography from the University of British Columbia and has a background in human geography. He works at the interface between economic and political geography, international relations and business and management. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society (and past Vice President) and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences. Bradshaw’s research has focused on the geopolitical economy of global energy. For more than 20 years he has studied the development of the Sakhalin oil and as projects in Russia’s Far East. This has led to research on energy security in northeast Asia. He is currently completing a co-authored book (with Tim Boersma at Columbia University) on the geopolitics of natural gas, to be published in Spring 2020 by Polity Press.

Kevin Hanna, Director, Centre for Environmental Assessment Research at UBC
Kevin Hanna, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Geography at UBC along with his role at the Centre for Environmental Assessment Research. Hanna is also an Associate Member of UBC’s Faculty of Forestry. His research and teachings focus on natural resources policy, environmental impact assessment and management of energy resources and systems. He is the Co-Chair of the Government of Canada’s Technical Advisory Committee on Science and Knowledge which advises the Impact Assessment Agency of Canada. Recently, Hanna worked with the First Nations LNG Alliance to develop information materials about the LNG industry and its technologies and operations for Indigenous communities in B.C.

Justin Bull, UBC Sauder School of Business
Justin Bull holds a Ph.D. and a B.A. from the University of British Columbia where he studied corporate strategy, supply chain management, and international relations. He is the Lead of the Sustainability and Ethics Group at the UBC Sauder School of Business, as well as a Lecturer in the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Group. He has been a consultant to natural resource companies on sustainability strategy and industry transitions. He also worked with Indigenous communities in Canada, Southeast Asia and Africa to strengthen their economic development capacities. Currently, he teaches on sustainability, entrepreneurship, innovation and indigenous relations.

To learn more or to register visit: LNG in Canada: Global Challenges and Local Opportunity