Climate Leadership Plan to reduce carbon pollution moves Alberta forward

On May 24, 2016 I was asked to attend and speak on behalf of the International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers Local 110 at the Government of Alberta press release regarding Bill 20.

Below you will find a copy of the Government of Alberta Media Release:


This proposed law implements key elements of Alberta's Climate Leadership Plan. It will create jobs by investing in a higher-value, lower-carbon, energy-efficient economy.

It will help Alberta do its part by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption, and improving the energy efficiency of Alberta homes, businesses and public buildings.

Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan is widely supported in both the energy industry and in civil society. Alberta is taking its place as the leader on these issues.

“Our plan to reduce carbon pollution will diversify the economy, create jobs, protect the health of Albertans and erase any doubt about Alberta’s environmental record. It’s the right thing to do today and for future generations. Climate change denial is wrong for our economy and it’s wrong for our Alberta’s future.”

Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks; Minister Responsible for the Climate Change Office

If passed, the proposed legislation would:

  • Set in law Alberta’s carbon levy and carbon levy rebate
  • Ensure revenue from the carbon levy is invested into actions that address climate change, and
  • Establish Energy Efficiency Alberta

The $20 per tonne carbon levy will take effect on January 1, 2017. Every penny raised through the carbon levy will be reinvested in Alberta to reduce carbon pollution and provide rebates to help Albertans adjust. Sixty-six per cent of Alberta households will receive a full or partial rebate.

The legislation would also establish Energy Efficiency Alberta as the provincial agency that will develop and deliver provincial-scale energy efficiency and small scale renewable programs and services.

To launch programming in early 2017, the Alberta government is taking the steps it needs to get the agency up and running as quickly as possible.

In consultation with Albertans and stakeholders, the agency will design programs to help people better understand and manage their energy consumption and footprint, and reduce their overall energy costs.

Bill 20 would also amend the Corporate Tax Act, in order to reduce the small business tax rate, which will help small businesses adjust to the price of carbon. Effective January 1, 2017, the rate will be lowered from three per cent to two per cent.

The Act would also ensure the carbon price currently applied to large emitters could be invested to the benefit of all Albertans.

Alberta will continue to pursue technologies and initiatives that help large emitters reduce their carbon footprint.


Stakeholder Support for Climate Leadership Plan

“The Town of Banff is a national park community, and the protection of a healthy environment is of paramount importance to us. We applaud the direction toward climate leadership taken by the Province, which will help us sustain our tourism economy and provide a better future for all Albertans.”

Karen Sorensen, Mayor, Town of Banff

“I am pleased to add my support for Minister Phillips and the Government of Alberta in implementing the Climate Leadership Plan, which recognizes that all Albertans must take responsibility for protecting our environment. The plan resonates well with the Town of Canmore in our goal of being municipal leaders through our Environmental Sustainability Action Plan, first approved in 2010. I am proud to see Alberta taking on this environmental leadership role nationally and internationally.”

John Borrowman, Mayor, Town of Canmore

“Today’s legislation will no doubt drive real and meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. It also offers new opportunities for the provincial government to partner with municipalities like Edmonton to more effectively address one of the great challenges of our time.”

Don Iveson, Mayor, City of Edmonton

“This is a new day for energy efficiency in Alberta. Creating Energy Efficiency Alberta is big step forward and will allow Albertans to reduce their carbon footprint while saving money at the same time.”

Jesse Row, Executive Director, Alberta Energy Efficiency Alliance

“The future, it’s why teachers teach, and protecting our environment is about making sure we’re providing the best possible future for our children. Any climate change strategy must include education to ensure our children develop a critical understanding of not only the causes and effects of climate change, but also how to work together to provide solutions.”

Mark Ramsankar, President, Alberta Teachers’ Association

“As we move to a lower carbon future, Alberta’s transmission grid is ready to enable Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan. Our transmission system in southern Alberta is already capable of accepting thousands of megawatts of new renewable energy.”

Scott Thon, President and CEO, AltaLink

“Our provincial government realizes that successful energy policies tackle environmental issues holistically — from production through to end-use consumption. I favour the new climate change plan, because it places important emphasis on reducing end-use consumption by promoting energy efficiency and conservation measures.”

Peter Tertzakian, Chief Energy Economist & Managing Director, ARC Financial Corporation

“BluEarth Renewables applauds the Alberta Government for taking a leadership position on climate change and diversifying Alberta's economy. Now is the time to establish Alberta as an international energy leader for the long term. The carbon levy is a first step towards building a sustainable and diversified Alberta.”

Grant Arnold, President and CEO, BluEarth Renewables

“The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment celebrates the arrival of Alberta’s Climate Leadership legislation.  Not only will the accelerated phase out of coal have substantial air quality improvements, but the Canadian Public Health Association has identified the climate crisis as a significant threat to Canadians health.  The Alberta Government’s action to mitigate these effects are to be applauded by the entire medical community.”

Joe Vipond, Physician, Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment

“The Canadian Wind Energy Association (CanWEA) is pleased that the Alberta government continues to demonstrate strong leadership through the implementation of its economy-wide strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. A carbon levy will send clear market signals that will nudge the Alberta economy towards greener, more diversified energy use and a more sustainable growth path. The legislation supports Alberta’s efforts to accelerate the replacement of existing fossil fuel electricity generation with the zero-carbon power of wind energy and other renewable electricity generation. Clean carbon-free electricity is an integral component of any credible climate change plan.”

Robert Hornung, President, Canadian Wind Energy Association

“Premier Notley and her government have shown leadership in ensuring the Alberta government consults in a meaningful way on climate change with industries across the province. This will ensure that climate change policies are designed and implemented correctly from the start and thus can protect the competitiveness of industry and the integrity of the environment. Our environment and our economy needs a price on carbon.”

Michael McSweeney, President and CEO, Cement Association of Canada

“We’re pleased to see the provincial government putting its new climate plan into action. We fully support Alberta taking a leadership role in addressing climate change and we believe one of the best ways to do that is through an economy-wide carbon levy as well as by supporting the development of carbon-reducing technologies.”

Brian Ferguson, President and CEO, Cenovus

“As an insurance company, we understand the risks associated with climate change and are supportive of carbon pricing as an important step in transitioning to a low-carbon economy. We have identified climate change as one of three focus areas for our impact investments, and hope to invest alongside the government of Alberta to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions as we work toward our ambitious impact investing target.”

Kathy Bardswick, President and CEO, The Co-Operators

“GE supports carbon pricing and continued investment in researching new technologies and digital tools to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The company’s 10-year eco strategy has clearly demonstrated it is possible to improve business operating performance while delivering better environmental outcomes.”

Ross Hornby, Vice-President, Government Affairs and Policy, GE Canada

“This is an important time for Alberta and the future of Alberta’s electricity market, EDF EN Canada supports the Alberta government’s commitment to bring on more renewable electricity and its leadership on climate change regulations. Alberta has one of the best renewable resources in Canada and this announcement will send a strong market signal to stimulate development of new competitive renewable energy facilities in Alberta today and tomorrow.”

Cory Basil, Vice-President of Development, EDF EN Canada Inc.

“The international Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers local 110 (Alberta) fully supports this important next step in Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan. The legislation proposed by the Government of Alberta will reduce carbon, encourage energy efficiency and create jobs across Alberta’s economy.”

Kevin Lecht, Business Manager, The International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Allied Workers local 110 (Alberta)

“We believe that a robust and credible climate change policy will be critical to the success of Alberta-based companies, including the energy sector, by reducing investor uncertainty. And implementing a broad-based price on carbon is one of the most important near-term actions governments can take towards a credible policy. Investors are particularly interested in the opportunities that can spring from an effective carbon pricing regime and we believe Alberta is well-positioned to take advantage of the growing investor appetite for these low-carbon opportunities.”

Robert Walker Vice-President, ESG Services & Ethical Funds, NEI Investments

“Environmentalists, economists and a growing list of political leaders agree: a carbon price is the most effective way to reduce greenhouse gas pollution that causes climate change. The levy will allow Albertans to invest in energy efficiency, renewable energy and technology, while protecting consumers from volatile energy costs and creating jobs. It’s what Alberta needs in order to do our fair share on climate change and stay globally competitive.”

Ed Whittingham, Executive Director, Pembina Institute

“The new carbon marketplace will automatically start to move Alberta toward a more sustainable, clean energy economy. In this way the carbon levy is beyond revenue neutral, it is actually net revenue positive. Solar energy creates jobs and Alberta has a world class solar resource waiting to be tapped.”

Rob Harlan, Executive Director, Solar Energy Society of Alberta

“Youth are innovators, and a crucial component of climate and energy solutions that benefit both the economy and the environment. As the Alberta government takes action on its climate plans, we want to congratulate them on creating space for youth voices and ideas. Recognizing that as the leaders of 2050, youth have a great stake in climate policy and will make a large contribution to our sustainable energy future.”

Sean Collins, Co-Founder, Student Energy

“We think climate change is happening. We believe a broad-based carbon price is the right answer and we’re pleased to see the Alberta government is taking steps to implement the climate leadership framework.”

Steve Williams, Chief Executive Officer, Suncor

“The Thermal Insulation Association of Canada, a national trade association with a focus on insulation for mechanical systems, fully supports the carbon reduction legislation proposed by the Government of Alberta. It is through improving the energy efficiency of the built environment that we can help reduce the effect of greenhouse gas emissions.”

Steve Clayman, Director of Energy Initiatives, Thermal Insulation Association of Canada

”We applaud the government as it tables the legislation to mitigate the impact of climate change. We especially appreciate the rebate of the carbon tax for the working poor in our province. Coupled with other key initiatives such as the Alberta Child Benefit, it will help to reduce poverty in Alberta.”

Franco Savoia, Director, Vibrant Communities, Calgary

“Smart carbon policy means pricing carbon broadly, and this is exactly what Alberta's new carbon levy does. Carbon pricing is the most cost-effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and Alberta's strengthened policy will help the province support a strong economy and environment into the future. Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission believes that each province needs to choose wisely how it recycles the new revenue. By investing in rebates for affected families, tax cuts for small business, green infrastructure and clean technology the Government of Alberta has done just that.”

Prof. Bev Dahlby, Distinguished Fellow in Tax and Economic Growth at the School of Public Policy and Professor of Economics at the University of Calgary