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Alberta Gets Failing Grade on Climate Plan

Posted by mhudema on July 16, 2008

Flunking grades for Alta. on climate change

Marianne White ,  Canwest News Service

Published: Wednesday, July 16, 2008

QUEBEC – British Columbia is leading the pack of Canadian provinces on climate change plans with its carbon tax while Alberta is the laggard, a report released Wednesday by the David Suzuki Foundation says.

As the premiers gathered in Quebec City for the Council of the Federation, where climate change is one of the hot topics, the conservation group issued a report card assessing the efforts of each province.

The report gives a good rating to Quebec, Manitoba and Ontario for their policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Not surprisingly, Alberta – which has no plan to cut back on emissions – rated the worst, with Saskatchewan not far from the bottom.

“For Alberta to be moving backward is incomprehensible,” said Dale Marshall, climate-change policy analyst with the Suzuki Foundation.

“It is astounding that Alberta has released this year a climate change plan that is weaker and more vague than its 2002 plan,” he added.

As a pre-emptive strike ahead of the premiers meeting, Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach announced last week it will invest $2 billion to help kick-start carbon capture and storage in Alberta.

He also reiterated his opposition to a cap-and-trade system, saying he’ll instead promote carbon capture and storage technology among his counterparts.

The report also says that the Atlantic provinces – New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, P.E.I. and Newfoundland – have some catching up to do.

The Suzuki Foundation stressed the provinces have to go ahead with tough standards to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the absence of federal leadership on climate change.

Marshall welcomed the fact that four of the biggest provinces – Quebec, B.C., Ontario and Manitoba – have committed to a cap-and-trade system with hard caps.

But he warned that it will be impossible for Canada to meet international standards if Alberta doesn’t do anything substantive on global warming.

© Canwest News Service 2008

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