Alberta first steps toward a new climate change strategy

Edmonton, Alberta, June 25, 2015 –  First, the government will renew and update our province’s current, expiring regulations governing carbon emissions.

Second, Dr. Andrew Leach, Associate Professor and Academic Director of Energy Programs at the University of Alberta School of Business, has agreed to chair an advisory panel that will comprehensively review the province of Alberta’s climate change policy, consult stakeholders, and provide advice on a permanent set of measures.

“Today we are taking two very meaningful steps toward crafting a solution to deal with climate change,” said Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks.

“Today’s announcement is one step in formulating a new policy direction for Alberta, but there will be more to come”

“For years, the previous government failed to develop a meaningful strategy to deal with the important issue of climate change and we are going to do things differently.” said Evan Price, President and CEO of CO2 Solutions.

“Conversations with industry and climate change experts are already underway, and I look forward to engaging with Albertans as we work together with the intention of creating an effective climate change action plan that helps us achieve real, demonstrable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.”

The existing $15 per tonne levy on carbon will increase to $20 per tonne next year and $30 per tonne in 2017.  Under the updated rules, any facility that emits 100,000 tonnes or more of greenhouse gases a year must reduce their emissions intensity.

Current legislation, introduced by the previous government, requires emissions to be reduced by 12 per cent.  Effective January 1, 2016, the new Alberta government has raised the reduction targets to 15% with an additional increase to 20% as of January 1, 2017.

Advisory Panel

The advisory panel, chaired by Dr. Leach, will conduct comprehensive consultation with Albertans that will take place over the next three months. It will facilitate meaningful discussion and gather input from all Albertans on how we can take leadership on the issue of climate change.

“Today’s announcement is one step in formulating a new policy direction for Alberta, but there will be more to come,” said Dr. Andrew Leach, Panel Chair.

“The climate change advisory panel process will provide the opportunity for all Albertans to provide input to shape these important policy decisions. I’m looking forward to the conversations we’ll have over the months to come.”

The panel will report back to government in the fall on what it hears from Albertans about actions that can be taken to reduce emissions from all sources. This advice will inform the development of a comprehensive new provincial strategy that demonstrates to the world Alberta’s commitment to address climate change.

Advice from the panel will be considered alongside advice from a separate panel to be struck to review how the owners of our oil and gas resources, the people of Alberta, receive fair return for developing their resources.

More information about the royalty review will be released shortly.


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