Alberta’s Contribution: The Alberta Party Climate Change Plan
Posted on November 18, 2015 by Natasha Soles
Edmonton (November 18, 2015) – Alberta Party Opposition Leader Greg Clark released his Climate Change plan as an alternative to the forthcoming NDP Climate Change document.
“Alberta must do its part to address climate change,” said Clark. “Our policy focuses on market-based innovation driven by Alberta entrepreneurs. Alberta’s contribution to the fight against climate change comes from creating technologies that will help diversify our economy and allow Alberta to continue to grow production from the oil sands and conventional sources.”
The Alberta Party plan is tailored to Alberta’s unique emissions profile.
“80% of our emissions come from large industrial sources, which is why we have kept the large-emitters carbon price, with offsets and incentives to use new technology to reduce emissions.” said Clark. “We also believe all Albertans need to be part of the solution, which is why we believe a moderate, revenue-neutral carbon tax is important.”
Clark said releasing detailed policy is an important part of being in opposition.
“As opposition our job is not just to oppose, but to propose,” said Clark. “Albertans expect us to present clear alternatives to government policy and I challenge my opposition colleagues to release their climate plans, not just complain about what the government might do.”
Clark said this is how he intends to approach his role in opposition.
“This is something we did with our shadow budget, and it is something we will continue to do,” said Clark. “We are still the only opposition party to talk in detail about how we would govern. I expect the other opposition parties to do the same.”
Alberta’s Contribution: The Alberta Party Caucus Climate Change Plan reflects the fact that Albertans want action on climate change, and acknowledges we must all do our part.
The following are the highlights of Alberta’s Contribution.
1. Clearly articulate support for continued growth of Alberta’s energy sector, including the oil sands
• Communicate Alberta’s desire to contribute to global carbon reduction by becoming a hub for energy technological innovation, including partnerships between industry, government and post-secondary
•Unapologetically promote Alberta’s emissions reduction successes to date and expected improvements based on our ambitious climate policies; the government must target this promotion to gain market access for Alberta’s energy products
2. Price carbon for large emitters, implement a revenue-neutral consumer carbon tax
• Create “SGER 2.0”, gradually increasing carbon pricing over time and gradually lowering the emissions threshold; this price must be high enough to incent companies to implement carbon-reducing technology but not so high that it does not leave companies with the capital required to economically implement these technologies, and the capacity to compete in global export markets
• Target oil sands emissions to peak in 2025
• Implement a $10/t carbon tax applied to all consumption, excluding large emitters
• Offset carbon tax revenue with reductions in personal and corporate taxes, support consumer-based renewables projects like rooftop solar
3. Create a world-leading R&D hub for carbon reduction, water use and reclamation projects
• The government reaffirm its commitment to CCEMC so it can continue the important role of funding technology, innovation and commercialization of GHG reduction projects in Alberta
• Create a “living lab” using Alberta carbon sources and other industrial facilities to test innovative ideas for emissions reduction, reclamation etc.
• Include a test bed for the Carbon xPrize as part of the living lab
4. Tap into Alberta’s entrepreneurial spirit through innovation tax credits, own-plant offsets
• Create a Green Innovation Tax Credit targeted at investments in new technologies that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions; start-ups and existing companies would be eligible for the tax credit
• Use consumer carbon tax to reduce personal and business taxes to return Alberta’s competitive advantage and encourage entrepreneurship of all kinds
5. Explore opportunities to align Alberta’s plan with other provinces
• Allocate a portion of offsets eligible to be purchased from out of province, gradually increasing over time
• Ensure offsets are net-new; the policy must guard against creation of a new transfer payment system where provinces with low-carbon industries like hydroelectric production receive a disproportionate amount of Alberta carbon dollars without significant new carbon reductions
6. Significantly reduce emissions from electricity generation
• Retire 85% of Alberta’s coal-fired power within 10 years, ‘dial down’ emissions on two remaining plants over their remaining useful life
• Use Alberta’s deregulated electricity market to ‘dial up’ renewables through a Renewable Portfolio Standard which requires 20% of Alberta’s generation to come from renewable sources by 2020, 25% by 2025 and 30% by 2030
• Ramp up natural gas as source of flexible power generation to compliment renewables
7. Energy Efficiency
• Expand the energy retrofit program announced in Budget 2015 to a total of $50 million, funded from CCEMC
• Provide support for micro-generation (i.e. rooftop solar), ensure regulations support consumers selling production into the grid
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For an interview please contact:
Alberta Party Caucus