Since taking office, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley has been very aggressive on the climate file.
With Alberta’s economy sinking rapidly, the new Alberta government has decided to throw the province a few new anchors.
A new report from the government of Canada, on Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 to 2013, is making news. And as usual, the bad news leads.
Since taking office in mid-September, Alberta’s new Premier Jim Prentice has talked an active game on the energy file. From the perspective of those who believe that Canada’s energy exports are vital to the country’s economic health, many of his comments seem positive. But there is one area where Mr. Prentice’s energy-policy comments are troubling.
Back in April of 2013, NDP leader Thomas Mulcair went down to Washington to rubbish Canada's environmental reputation before its greatest trading partner. Now, the stomp-Canada shoe is on a different wearer: Marc Jaccard, a professor at Simon Fraser University, has gone down to the States to sing Canada's, well, evils.
When pitching new programs, politicians love their dedicated funds: highway trust funds, housing trust funds, environmental protection funds, wildlife-protection funds, and so on. Most recently, under AB 32, California politicians partly sold the program on the basis of all the good that could be done with Greenhouse Gas Reduction Funds raised through the states cap-and-trade program.
Carbon taxes are once again dominating the discussion over energy policy in Alberta, where Environment Minister Diana McQueen has proposed a sharp hike to Albertas carbon levy. Presently, large emitters in Alberta are required to reduce greenhouse gas emission intensity (that is, emissions per unit of production) by 12 per cent, or face a levy of $15 for every tonne they come up short. The new proposal would hike the emission intensity target to 40 per cent, and raise the levy to $40. Nice round numbers, to be sure, but extremely ambitious ones.
While the United States has been focused on the mid-term elections and Iraq for the past several months, Canadians have been focused intently on the question of whether or not Canada should ratify the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change.
The firestorm of debate erupted in September 2002, at the Johannesburg Earth Summit, where Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien pledged to ratify the Kyoto Protocol by Christmas. If Chrétien lives up to his promise, Canada would be the first, and likely the only country in North America to sign on to the Kyoto Protocol.