Thank you for being part of the Alberta Climate Summit 2023! Sold-out event featured lively exchanges and forward-looking solutions

Blog - Nov. 1, 2023 - By Laurence Miall
Crowd at the Pembina Institute’s Alberta Climate Summit iin Calgary

The Pembina Institute’s sold-out Alberta Climate Summit in Calgary. Photos: Roberta Franchuk, Pembina Institute

Back for the first time since 2018, the Pembina Institute’s sold-out Alberta Climate Summit paid host to close to 300 people at the historic Hudson Event Complex in downtown Calgary on October 26. With veteran television anchor Dave Kelly as emcee and moderator, the event brought together industry, government, and environmental leaders while attracting significant media attention, especially around the lunch hour. 

The Premier of Alberta, Danielle Smith, took to the stage to the packed room at 12:30pm for a fireside chat with Dave Kelly about the province’s plan to become net zero by 2050. In the second fireside chat, the federal Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Jonathan Wilkinson, reiterated his support for the 2035 target for a net-zero electricity grid in Alberta and the other provinces. Other elected officials speaking from the stage were Keren Tang, city councillor for Ward Karhiio in Edmonton and Paul McLauchlin, reeve of Ponoka and president of Rural Municipalities of Alberta. Both spoke about the enormous potential of renewables in their communities. 

After lunch, Jennifer Mergy, Minister Counselor for Economic Affairs, US Embassy Ottawa, delivered a keynote about the opportunities represented by the significant investment the United States is making in renewable energy under the Inflation Reduction Act

Panel for How to get to net-zero with Dave Kelly, Mihskakwan James Harper, Keren Tang and Chris Severson-Baker

Five panel discussions formed the main content for the day, starting with the aspirational and upbeat “How to get to net-zero" with the Pembina Institute’s executive director, Chris Severson-Baker, Mihskakwan James Harper, Business Development Manager at NRStor Inc., and Edmonton City Councillor Keren Tang. 

"A clean, affordable electricity grid for Alberta" was moderated by Sara Hastings-Simon, Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary, and Evan Wilson, President of Policy—Western Canada and National Affairs with the Canadian Renewable Energy Association; Daniel Jurijew Vice-President, Government Relations, Regulatory & Environmental Policy for Capital Power; and Paul McLauchlin, who lauded the renewable energy industry for delivering tax revenue for rural municipalities. “You know who's coming to save the day? It's the renewable folks,” he said. 

Panel for Preparing Alberta’s workforce to lead in diversifying energy sectors

“Preparing Alberta’s workforce to lead in diversifying energy sectors” was moderated by the Pembina Institute’s Carolyn Kim. Guest speakers were Bea Bruske, President of the Canadian Labour Congress; Janet Annesley, Chief Sustainability Officer at Kiwetinohk, an Alberta-based energy transition company; Kim Carter, Vice President, People & Culture at BluEarth, a renewable energy company.  

"The future of energy in changing markets" was moderated by Janetta McKenzie, a senior analyst at the Pembina Institute. Guest speakers were Danny Cullenward, Senior Fellow with the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy at the University of Pennsylvania; Jennifer Livingstone, Vice President of Enterprise Climate Strategy at RBC, and Peter Tertzakian, founder of the Deputy Director of the ARC Energy Research Institute.

"The role of carbon dioxide removal (CDR) on Canada's path to net-zero" was moderated by Carson Fong, senior analyst at the Pembina Institute, and featured Na'im Merchant, Executive Director of Carbon Removal Canada, Andy Lam, Senior Manager of climate programs at MaRS Discovery District, Sean McCoy, Assistant Professor in Chemical and Petroleum Engineering at the University of Calgary and Navjot Sandhu is a Senior Analyst at Carbon Engineering. 

Selected media coverage

CTV News
"Fraught provincial-federal relationship onstage at Alberta Climate Summit"
Provided an overview of the Summit and brief interview clips with Deputy Executive Director of the Pembina Institute, Simon Dyer, the Premier of Alberta, Danielle Smith, federal Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Jonathan Wilkinson, and Leader of the Official Opposition, Rachel Notley.

How to win over rural Albertans to renewable energy? Show them the money, says reeve”: The reeve of Ponoka County and president of the Rural Municipalities of Alberta, Paul McLauchlin, told Summit attendees about the benefits of renewable energy projects to rural communities.

Calgary Herald
Feds-province aim to further talks on energy regulations”: Highlights the Premier and Minister's comments at the Summit regarding carbon capture and utilization, the Clean Electricity Regulations and the proposed cap on oil and gas emissions.

Laurence Miall

Laurence Miall is communications manager for the Pembina Institute's industrial decarbonization work; he is based in Edmonton.


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