CALGARY — Chris Severson-Baker, managing director of the Pembina Institute, made the following comments in response to the Government of Alberta’s announcement that its climate change regulations are being extended:
“It’s good that we have a clear timeline for improving Alberta’s climate regulations, and a premier who is talking about getting it right rather than rushing changes through just to meet the year-end deadline.
“Alberta’s current climate regulation is flawed. It has not been effective in reducing carbon pollution. The province is not on track to meet its self-imposed targets, let alone its fair share of Canada’s national target. The Specified Gas Emitters Regulation has been in effect since 2007 and yet Alberta currently emits more carbon pollution than Ontario and Quebec, home to over 60 per cent of Canada’s population, put together. Progress in other provinces is being cancelled out by rising carbon pollution from Alberta.
“Improving Alberta’s climate regulations is essential. Since the deadline for renewing the climate strategy has already been pushed back once, it’s good the province is investing the time now to strengthen its climate policies, especially ahead of next year’s global climate talks in Paris.
“There are four main ways Alberta can turn its climate record around: phasing out coal-fired power ahead of schedule, investing in energy efficiency, increasing the amount of renewable energy generated in the province, and raising the carbon price while applying it to a larger percentage of emissions.
“Ultimately, Alberta needs a climate strategy that aligns its efforts to reduce carbon pollution with Canada’s 2020 target, and capitalizes on the many opportunities Alberta has to show climate leadership.”
Backgrounder: Background on Alberta’s climate strategy