The one-year anniversary of Alberta’s Emissions Reduction and Energy Development plan

An assessment of progress to date and recommendations for action

The Government of Alberta has yet to make meaningful progress on implementation of its Emissions Reduction and Energy Development plan, released one year ago today.

Climate policy and economic policy are inextricably linked. Governments around the world are not only making plans to reduce emissions and setting interim targets to 2050 — they are also actively taking steps to grow clean industries and prepare their workforces.

In Alberta, practical work urgently needs to begin and rapidly accelerate. Our assessment of the last twelve months has found that the Government of Alberta has yet to begin the type of preliminary stakeholder engagement that is expected as a key first action in identifying how it will practically reduce emissions across the economy. Sector-by-sector analysis and planning — including the crucial addition of declining interim emissions reduction targets on the way to 2050, and clear policies that ensure emissions decrease in the short term — is still missing. Without this, the Government of Alberta’s climate plan lacks credibility.

This assessment document is intended to suggest immediate, tangible steps that the Government of Alberta can take to make progress on its climate plan this year. These are:

  1. Undertaking and completing analysis of a pathway to net-zero emissions for every sector, with interim emissions targets identified and set on the road to 2050;
  2. Strengthening Alberta’s industrial carbon pricing system to incentivize investments in emissions reductions by large industrial emitters;
  3. Lowering the Oil Sands Emissions Limit, accompanied by effective regulations that enforce the limit;
  4. Modernizing the mandate of the electricity system operator and utilities regulator, sending clear signals about the development of renewable energy production and supporting clean infrastructure (such as transmission and storage);
  5. Re-establishing Alberta as a leader on tackling oil and gas methane emissions by committing to upgrade current regulations in line with strengthened federal rules; and
  6. Implementing new rules that would pave the way for cost-effective demand-side management measures for electricity use.

The Pembina Institute welcomes discussion on what the Government of Alberta can do to reduce emissions across the economy and ensure a prosperous future for all Albertans.