Alberta has done its share for climate, even under tighter limit: minister

Alberta's environment minister says the province is doing its share to fight climate change, even under a more stringent limit for global warming.

EDMONTON — Alberta’s environment minister says the province is doing its share to fight climate change, even under a more stringent limit for global warming.

“We have unveiled a robust package of policies that we believe signals our willingness to do our part,” Shannon Phillips said Tuesday from Paris, where she is attending an international climate conference.

“We have taken our share of the responsibilities.”

Her federal counterpart in Paris, Catherine McKenna, appeared on Tuesday to endorse a global goal of keeping rising temperatures to within 1.5 degrees of pre-industrial levels — lower than the previous goal of two degrees.

“We support the Paris agreement having language that says we should aim and strive towards limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees,” McKenna’s spokeswoman, Caitlin Workman, said in an email.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether 1.5 degrees would become an actual target for Canadian policy. The mark was proposed by low-lying island nations most likely to be immediately affected by an increase in sea levels.

Scientists have long endorsed the two-degree limit as the most that can be allowed before climate changes become too severe.

Phillips declined to say if McKenna had told her in advance of Canada’s support for the lower limit.

“Our officials are in contact with federal officials,” she said. “There are a number of different conversations that are underway.”

Mike Hudema of Greenpeace said a 1.5-degree limit would put even more pressure on Alberta to reduce its emissions. He said if every province adopted policies similar to those outlined by Alberta before the conference, Canada wouldn’t even cut greenhouse gases enough to limit warming to two degrees.

“The 1.5-degree targets mean that we need even greater reductions,” he said from Paris.

“You can’t have the type of reductions that the science is demanding without Alberta doing a much bigger part. There aren’t enough reductions from the other provinces to meet the 100 megatonnes (of carbon) coming from the tar sands alone.”

Phillips said reduction targets for each province are to be set co-operatively at a meeting held within 90 days of the Paris conference. Other provinces understand that Alberta’s economy is unique and benefits all of Canada, she said.

“Different provinces have different abilities to reduce. I think the federal government understands that,” she said.

“At no time have I had the sense from my federal counterpart or any other province that there is a lack of recognition of Alberta’s importance to the Canadian economy.”

Phillips added she isn’t worried about a recent public opinion poll that suggested Alberta’s climate change strategy had only minority support across the province.

That will change, she suggested, especially as more information on carbon tax rebates, energy efficiency programs and new power generation emerges.

“This is a long process which will unroll over some months. There will be ongoing conversations with Albertans on ensuring that low and middle-income working families will be insulated from any negative effects.”

Just Posted

Red Deer teacher contracts condemning same-sex relationships ‘not acceptable’

Eggen says Red Deer Catholic Schools assured him they no longer have employees sign the form

Second-degree murder trial on hold until January

Jury not back until Jan. 7 for 2015 stabbing death trial while lawyers argue evidence issues

Hospitalizations jump in Red Deer due to opioid poisonings

Small city hospitals impacted more by opioid crisis

Stray dog spotted in one Red Deer neighbourhood, could be missing for 1 year

Red Deerians asked not to feed this german shepard

Witnesses describe scene of fatal 2016 collision

Delburne man on trial for manslaughter after being accused of causing collision

WATCH: CP Holiday Train rolls into Lacombe

Kelly Prescott performed for hundreds of Central Albertans

Trump comments upend U.S. approach to Huawei, trade talks

WASHINGTON — The United States and China have taken pains this week… Continue reading

WATCH: CP Holiday Train rolls into Lacombe

Kelly Prescott performed for hundreds of Central Albertans

Dumba scores twice, Wild rout Canadiens 7-1

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Reeling and banged up, the Minnesota Wild were… Continue reading

Coach Hunter wants up-tempo Team Canada as world junior squad hits ice

COLWOOD, B.C. — Team Canada coach Tim Hunter says the team that… Continue reading

Study finds female-led films outperform male ones

NEW YORK — A study organized by Time’s Up, the organization formed… Continue reading

Price Is Right contestant wins winter trip to Winnipeg, Churchill

WINNIPEG — Who wants to visit Winnipeg in the dead of winter?… Continue reading

CBC Gem streaming service to launch exclusive content, partners with Wattpad

TORONTO — The CBC has launched a new streaming service featuring live… Continue reading

‘Part of the solution:’ Alberta seeks proposals to build new refinery

EDMONTON — Alberta is looking for someone to build a new oil… Continue reading

Most Read