My doctoral research will help explain the following question: can industrialized liberal democracies with large fossil fuel endowments avoid being locked into high carbon pollution development pathways? Is it possible for these countries to pursue the twin goals of accelerated fossil fuel extraction and decarbonization? For most countries, evidence reveals this is a foolhardy venture. Canada and Australia have both struggled with effective climate policies amidst booming oil, gas, and coal extraction – what some researchers have called the carbon curse. Norway stands out as a glaring exception, with its robust oil and gas industry and world-leading climate policies. My doctoral research will explore the political causal mechanisms of the carbon curse theory in fossil fuel-rich industrialized liberal democracies. It will explain how Canada and Australia have developed very different climate policies compared to Norway.
While I will certainly produce academic articles from my research, which will benefit political scientists studying climate and energy policy, I also seek to reach beyond the traditional academic audience. My research findings will be highly relevant for policy-makers in Canada, the United States, Australia, and Norway who wish to responsibly develop their fossil fuel resources and embrace effective climate governance. Given the highly disruptive and intensifying impacts of climate change, academics and policy-makers need to intentionally engage one another on potential solutions. My research will be most helpful for those looking to understand the compatibility of fossil fuel development and economy-wide emissions reductions. My findings could also be of interest to analysts in the financial sector and the oil and gas industry interested in the relationship between fossil fuel development and climate policy.
Aiding me along the way is my stellar dissertation committee. Prof. Steven Bernstein (Chair) brings a strong background in global governance and global environmental politics. Prof. Grace Skogstad is an expert in comparative public policy, policy networks and Canadian federalism. Prof. Louis Pauly is an international and comparative political economist.
Shari Clare, Naomi Krogman, Lee Foote and Nathan Lemphers. 2011. “Where is the avoidance in the implementation of wetland law and policy?” Wetlands Ecology and Management 19(2):165-182.
Clare Demerse and Nathan Lemphers. 2016. “The Environmental Movement in Canada: Current challenges,” In Canadian Environmental Policy and Politics (4th edition), edited by Debora VanNijnatten and Robert Boardman, Don Mills: Oxford University Press.
Sarah Dobson, Nathan Lemphers and Steven Guilbeault. 2013. Booms, Busts and Bitumen: The economic implications of Canadian oilsands development. Calgary, Alberta: Pembina Institute and Equiterre. 38pp.
Simon Dyer, Jennifer Grant, Marc Huot and Nathan Lemphers. 2013. Beneath the Surface: a review of key facts in the oilsands debate. Edmonton, Alberta: Pembina Institute. 70pp.
Nathan Lemphers. 2013. The Climate Implications of the Proposed Keystone XL Oilsands Pipeline. Ottawa, Ontario: Pembina Institute. 12pp.
Nathan Lemphers and Dan Woynillowicz. 2012. In the Shadow of the Boom: How Oilsands Development is Reshaping Canada’s Economy. Ottawa, Ontario: Pembina Institute. 68pp.
Nathan Lempherrs. 2012. Challenges to Transporting Canadian Oilsands Crude Overseas: An Overview of Significant Short-Term Barriers and Market Uncertainties Facing Canadian Oilsands Exports. Calgary, Alberta: Pembina Institute. 6pp.
Anthony Swift, Nathan Lemphers, Susan Casey-Lefkowitz, Katie Terhune and Danielle Droitsch, 2011, Pipeline and Tanker Trouble: The Impact to British Columbia’s Communities, Rivers, and Pacific Coastline from Tar Sands Oil Transport, Washington, DC: National Resources Defense Council, Drayton Valley, Alberta: Pembina Institute, Sointula, BC: Living Oceans Society, 28pp.
Lindsay Fischer, Nathan Lemphers and Jennifer Grant. 2011. Summary of Environmental Management Policy Deficiencies in the Canadian Oilsands: Implications for U.S. Decision Makers. Calgary, Alberta: The Pembina Institute. 11pp.
Marc Huot, Lindsay Fischer and Nathan Lemphers. 2011. Oilsands and Climate Change: How Canada’s Oilsands are Standing in the way of Effective Climate Action. Calgary, Alberta: The Pembina Institute, 14pp.
Peggy Holroyd, Nathan Lemphers, Jennifer Dagg, Benjamin Thibault and Randy Lucas. 2011. Comparing the Offshore Drilling Regulations of the Canadian Arctic, the U.S., the U.K., Greenland and Norway. Calgary, Alberta: The Pembina Institute. 179pp.
Nathan Lemphers and Andrew Logan. 2011. Full disclosure. Environmental liabilities in Canada’s oilsands: perspectives for investors. Calgary, Alberta and Boston, Massachusetts: The Pempbina Institute and Ceres. 4pp.
Jesse Row, Paul Cobb, Nathan Lemphers and Erin Welk. 2011. Options for reducing GHG emissions in Calgary: Research report. Calgary, Alberta: The Pembina Institute. 36pp.
Nathan Lemphers and Danielle Droitsch. 2011. The uncertain prospect of oilsands exports to Asia. Briefing Note. Calgary, Alberta: The Pembina Institute. 6pp.
Nathan Lemphers. 2010. Pipeline to nowhere? Uncertainty and unanswered questions about the Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline. Calgary, Alberta: The Pembina Institute. 27pp.
Nathan Lemphers, Jennifer Grant and Simon Dyer. 2010. Toxic Liability: How Albertans could end up paying for oil sands mine reclamation. Calgary, Alberta: The Pembina Institute. 56pp.
Jennifer Grant, Simon Dyer, Nathan Lemphers and Jennifer Dagg. 2010. Northern Lifeblood: Empowering northern leaders to protect the Mackenzie River Basin from oilsands risks. Calgary, Alberta: The Pembina Institute. 75pp.
Jeremy Moorhouse and Nathan Lemphers. 2010. Low-carbon transportation policies: A comparison of California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard and other transportation policies. Calgary, Alberta: The Pembina Institute. 24pp.