Shining a spotlight on Alberta’s efforts to tackle climate changeReflecting on the Pembina Institute's 2016 Climate Summit

Blog - Sept. 27, 2016 - By Ed Whittingham

Delegates at the Pembina Institute's 2016 Alberta Climate Summit learn the province is not alone in taking bold climate policy action.

Alberta’s action to transition away from fossil fuels is bold, but the province does not stand alone. Around the world, the movement toward a greener future is gaining momentum. The province has joined jurisdictions at the forefront of the transition, and the success of this year’s Alberta Climate Summit speaks volumes about Albertans’ commitment to become leaders in this movement.

Last week, over 500 people gathered at the Summit in Calgary to discuss tangible options to meet the targets announced by the Alberta Government less than one year ago. They came from a range of sectors including the oil and gas industry, electricity industry, non-profit sector, local and provincial government, First Nations, labour, media and academia.

Panellists included experts from leading jurisdictions and Alberta’s own energy leaders who had implemented successful programs for energy transition. They shared their best practices with the crowd and pushed our thinking in terms of what is achievable and the ambitious pace for which we can aim.

Experts such as Stephen MacDonald, CEO of EfficiencyOne in Nova Scotia, encouraged the province to get going, as “there’s a lot of things that can be done very quickly.”

In some ways, announcing Alberta’s target has put us in a leadership position.

“We have moved Alberta into a position of advice-giver [from] order-taker,” Alberta Environment and Parks Minister Shannon Phillips told the crowd. “No other example is better than methane. In March, Canada and the United States came to a methane-reductions agreement that built off of Alberta’s leadership efforts announced in 2015." 

It was incredible seeing such a diverse and high calibre group of experts drawn to Calgary to discuss climate change. Alberta is clearly drawing national and even international attention for its efforts, and it already has us looking forward to next year. 

To find out more about the summit, visit to see the presentations and videos from the day.

Ed Whittingham

Ed Whittingham was the Executive Director of the Pembina Institute until 2017.


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