Alberta climate plan acknowledges need to cut emissions but lacks key elements of a credible strategyLack of near-term targets a serious problem

April 19, 2023


Alberta Legislature Building Photo: Pembina Institute

EDMONTON — SIMON DYER, Deputy Executive Director at the Pembina Institute, made the following statement in response to the release of the Alberta Emissions Reduction and Energy Development Plan:

“With the release of this plan the Alberta government is signalling that the province needs a credible climate plan, while recognizing that it is lagging well behind much of the rest of the world.

“Alberta’s Emissions Reduction and Energy Development Plan makes an aspirational goal of reaching net zero by 2050 – the target that Canada has committed to achieve.

“It does not include a commitment to reduce emissions in the short term – there is no 2030 target. Lack of a near-term target without a clear emissions reduction signal could lead to decisions that lock in higher emissions, such as building natural-gas fired power plants to produce electricity instead of investing in renewable energy, battery storage and better transmission inter-ties with neighbouring provinces.

“A clear and comprehensive climate strategy is necessary to attract investment and take advantage of the rapidly growing clean energy economy. Last year, a range of assessments projected that the current level of worldwide policy momentum on emissions reductions will result in a sustained decline in global demand for oil, beginning this decade. If the world successfully achieves its goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050 and avoiding the worst effects of climate change, that demand decline will begin sooner and be steeper — and will have a significant impact on Alberta’s industry.

“Now more than ever before, companies are looking for opportunities to invest in climate solutions, and for jurisdictions where they can operate while meeting their own climate goals. They are looking for jurisdictions that have comprehensive and predictable climate policies at the national and sub-national level that are aligned with international commitments. Choosing instead to remain out of step with the global trend towards low-emission economies would leave Alberta at a significant disadvantage in the years ahead.

“Alberta needs to play a leadership role and be part of the solution to addressing climate change. We can’t expect Canadians across the country to do more while Alberta does less. Last week’s National Inventory Report on greenhouse gas emissions showed Alberta’s have increased by nine per cent since 2005, while Ontario’s decreased by 26 per cent.

“We look forward to working with the Government of Alberta to urgently implement measures to reduce emissions and to strengthen this plan.”



Hanneke Brooymans
Senior Communications Lead, Pembina Institute


Report: Alberta’s Roadmap to the New Energy Economy
Report: All Hands on Deck: An assessment of provincial, territorial and federal readiness to deliver a safe climate
Report: Canada’s Official Greenhouse Gas Inventory


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