June 2016 News: Alberta

REVISITING THE CLIMATE LEADERSHIP PLAN:   “The Economic Cost of Carbon Policy”  was written  by Andrew Leach, Chair of Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan , and appeared in Maclean’s online on June 19th  in response to a controversial article in the Calgary Herald on June 17th . The Herald article reported that a leaked memo from the government’s Treasury Board staff had predicted that the Climate Leadership Plan would result in 15,000 fewer jobs, a $4-billion drop in household income, as well as lower corporate profits, oil exports and overall economic activity.  Andrew Leach defends the Climate Leadership process and “sets things straight” in a thorough discussion of the economics and politics of carbon pricing . He concedes that the policy prescriptions come at a cost – which he estimates at  0.25 to 0.5 per cent cumulatively by 2022, but he concludes that Alberta cannot maintain a “business as usual” policy; “ We believe that our policy recommendations will be of net benefit to Alberta, yes in terms of the avoided costs of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, but also in terms of the avoided costs of discriminatory and punitive policies imposed upon Alberta.”

On May 26, The Premiers of Alberta and Ontario announced  a Memorandum of Understanding pledging cooperation regarding GHG reduction in the production, transportation and use of natural resources in Alberta and Ontario, as well as  development of renewable energy and energy storage, and fostering new and innovative uses of carbon dioxide.

On June 6, Alberta announced the new Energy Efficiency Agency, and an Energy Efficiency Advisory Panel  ,  which will consult with the public, Indigenous people, and technical experts until September.  A Discussion Document   will guide consultations.The Panel ‘s report to the Minister is due in Fall 2016, with the goal that Energy Efficiency Alberta will launch programs by January 2017. Listed as “measures of success” for the Agency:  “Economic impact: the number of stable green jobs associated with program  options and the direct and indirect benefits to urban and rural economies associated with the implementation of programs.”

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