With Alberta set to release its new climate strategy by the end of the year, Pembina Institute energy specialist Chris Severson-Baker is suggesting four steps the province can take to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
“Alberta emits more carbon pollution than Ontario and Quebec—home to over 60% of Canada’s population—put together,” he writes. “Progress in other provinces is being cancelled out by rising carbon pollution from Alberta.”
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And “with rapid growth in the oilsands set to continue, it’s critical to get Alberta’s carbon pollution under control.”
Severson-Baker says the province can tackle the carbon challenge by introducing tougher oil and gas regulations, phasing out coal ahead of schedule, levelling the playing field for renewable energy producers, and introducing energy efficiency programs—since Alberta is the only jurisdiction in North America that doesn’t have any.
“If Alberta were to implement just the energy efficiency opportunities that are currently economic, providing a financial return competitive with conventional investment options, Albertans could be saving $3 billion a year by 2020,” he writes. “On top of that, it could reduce carbon pollution by 26 megatonnes—half-way to the province’s 50 Mt goal.”