Alberta Climate Change

Published: August 15, 2015

Alberta Climate Change, Alberta’s NDP government took a first step toward a new climate change strategy Friday, but made it clear that new emissions targets and the policies to implement them will have to wait until the end of a consultation process.

Environment Minister Shannon Phillips has appointed a five-member panel that will spend the next few weeks gathering information and seeking public input as the province moves toward a “made in Alberta” climate change plan.

“It is my goal to have a new proposal prepared in advance of the United Nations Conference of the Parties in Paris this December,” Phillips said. “To get this right, we need to hear from Albertans.”

Phillips said previous Alberta governments have set greenhouse gas targets but pursued virtually no new policies to help meet them. Asked repeatedly when her government will set its own targets, Phillips said hard numbers will have to wait until the panel delivers its report, expected by the end of October or in early November.

“I expect that the panel will have a tremendous amount to say on the topic of targets, and they will be offering us their best advice and options on how to move forward on that,” she said.

Public consultation
Over the next several weeks, Albertans will be invited to go online or attend public sessions to share their ideas to address climate change.

The panel, chaired by Andrew Leach, academic director of energy programs at the University of Alberta school of business, will hold one-day public sessions in Edmonton and Calgary this September.

The report compiled by the panel will try to answer four key questions, Phillips said.

The panel plans to gather input from industry, municipalities, academics, First Nations and Métis communities. The panel’s advice will help the government set “credible and realistic targets” for reducing emissions, Phillips said.

“Climate change is one of the most pressing issues facing our province and our world. Albertans must do their part to address climate change,” she said. “We intend to take real action, but we will not do so until we have the right, evidence-based framework for doing so.”

The other four panel members are:

The timeline is tight, but Leach said the panel members have been working on climate change issues for decades.

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