Posted on Nov 7, 2016
The second sitting of the 29th Legislature reconvened on October 31st, 2016 and it was my pleasure to represent the constituents of Calgary-Buffalo there. This session the Legislature will be discussing how our government can strengthen the economy, ensure stability in service-delivery, and make Alberta one of the most environmentally-responsible energy producers in the world. Acting on the recommendations put forward by the Climate Change Advisory Panel, Alberta introduced the Climate Leadership Plan in November of 2015. The Plan includes a series of actions that will roll out beginning January 2017.
Government is addressing climate change because it directly affects our health, environment and the economy of the province. For too long the reputation of our energy industry has been damaged by outdated policies that have hurt our access to new markets. By address climate change head-on, Alberta is repositioning itself as a forward-looking energy producer. There are four core aspects of the Climate Leadership Plan:
- An accelerated phase out of coal-powered electricity. The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment estimates that pollution from coal-fired power is responsible for million in annual health care costs. Government is accelerating the phase-out to reduce needless hospital admissions, premature deaths, and emergency room visits.
- Transitioning to a system where one-third of coal-fired generation is replaced by natural gas generators, and two-thirds by renewable energy.
- An economy-wide price on carbon pollution of $30/tonne that while be phased in beginning January 2017. Alberta’s carbon levy will reward families, businesses and communities that take steps to lower their emissions. The levy will also diversify our energy industry and create new jobs, with carbon rebates introduced to offset the costs associated with the levy to help low and middle-income households adjust. Every dollar will be put to work in Alberta, or returned to Albertans.
- A 100 megatonne (Mt) annual limit on oilsands emissions (currently at roughly 70 Mt). The Climate Leadership Plan has been endorsed by major industry players including CNRL, Shell, Suncor and Cenovus. By showing leadership to protect our health, environment and the economy for future generations, we will improve Alberta’s reputation and access to new markets.
The full climate leadership plan can be accessed here: http://www.alberta.ca/climate, and my office has further information about the plan for anyone interested. By leading the way on climate change, Alberta is protecting the province’s health, environment and economy.