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Alberta: Eco-slowpoke

Posted by mhudema on July 16, 2008

http://www.canada.com/calgaryherald/news/story.html?id=3d74435e-41cc-45d0-a587-682be30182f9

Alberta: Eco-slowpoke

Suzuki Foundation says Alberta lags in commitment to improving environment

Jason Fekete, Calgary Herald

Published: Wednesday, July 16, 2008

CALGARY – Alberta’s carbon-intensive oilsands and weak climate-change policies have made it the environmental laggard in Canada, according to a new report from David Suzuki Foundation.

The environmental think-tank released the document Wednesday morning in Quebec City, as Canada’s 13 provincial and territorial premiers gather there for the Council of the Federation conference.

It finds that most provinces – namely British Columbia, Quebec, Manitoba and Ontario – have set stronger climate-change targets than the federal government and are outperforming Ottawa on the file.

Suncor's on-site oilsands refinery near Fort McMurray

Suncor’s on-site oilsands refinery near Fort McMurray

But the report pegs Alberta at the bottom of the rankings on fighting climate change, due to it producing the most greenhouse gases in the country (about one-third the country’s total emissions) and for allowing emission to continue to rise until 2020.

“The worst offender (Alberta) has skyrocketing emissions and no plans to decrease them anytime soon,” says the report.

The foundation is calling on the federal Conservative government to follow the lead of progressive provinces and to set strong national climate-change standards that will be applicable across the country.

“This is especially important in order to rein in greenhouse-gas increases in Alberta,” adds the report.

British Columbia was ranked the nation’s leader on climate change for recently implementing its provincial carbon tax, and its commitment to cap and reduce emissions from industry.

Saskatchewan, which is also reaping dividends from the energy boom, joined Alberta near the bottom of the list due to its government scrapping previously announced climate-change programs.

Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach tried to bolster his government’s environmental credentials last week when he announced a $4-billion effort to slash greenhouse-gas emissions. The government will invest $2 billion in carbon capture and storage and another $2 billion in transit initiatives to reduce tailpipe emissions.
jfekete@theherald.canwest.com

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