By: Shaun Fluker
Matter Commented On: Climate Leadership – Discussion Document (Government of Alberta, August 2015)
Alberta’s Climate Change Advisory Panel is seeking public input on what direction provincial climate change policy should follow going forward. One method of providing your input is to complete an online survey on or before September 18. This is the second part of a two-step process announced by the Minister of Environment and Parks in late June 2015 (see here for the post by my colleague Nigel Bankes on this announcement). To inform this important public dialogue, in August 2015 the Climate Change Advisory Panel published the Climate Leadership – Discussion Document. This 62 page document sets out the overall carbon emissions profile in Alberta (at 9 – 17) and then discusses emissions by individual economic sector and summarizes policy tools that have been used in Alberta and elsewhere to reduce emissions in that sector: oil & gas (at 20 – 26), electricity (at 27 – 34), transportation (at 35 – 40), commercial and residential buildings (at 41 – 46), industrial and manufacturing (at 47 – 51), agriculture, forestry, and waste (at 52 – 56). The Minister’s announcement together with the overall tone and content of the discussion document make it clear the current intensity-based emissions reduction policy implemented by the Specified Gas Emitters Regulation, Alta Reg 139/2007 will be replaced on or before the end of 2017. I believe the centrepiece of Alberta’s new direction should be joining the cap-and-trade system currently operating in Quebec and California, along with Ontario which in April 2015 announced its intention to join.