COP18: Alberta’s climate change approach a model for others

Photo of Minister preparing for IETA panel discussion

Preparing for IETA panel discussion.

December 4

We started our morning speaking on a panel hosted by the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) focusing on intensity-based measures and policy innovations. The IETA comprises more than 155 international companies seeking to develop a framework that leads to GHG emission reductions, while balancing economic, environmental and social outcomes.

The intent of the panel was to look specifically at lessons learned from Alberta’s approach to encourage emission reductions and spur low-carbon technology development. Our approach is seen as a model around the world, especially for rapidly industrializing countries.  During my opening remarks I highlighted the achievements we have made in our system so far.

Other panelists included representatives from Taiwan and China, who are also looking at intensity-based approaches. It was very interesting to hear comments from the China representative on how practical the Alberta system is. She also indicated that there seems to be a lot of elements of our system that are applicable to China.

Bob Savage, Bev Yee and Zeeshan Syed representing Alberta at COP18

Bob Savage, Bev Yee and Zeeshan Syed representing Alberta at COP18

As part of the panel, Bob Savage, the Director of Alberta’s Climate Change Secretariat, delivered an excellent presentation that gave attendees a good understanding of our climate change management system – our specified gas emitters regulation, the approach to compliance, and how our technology fund works to drive innovation and results.

Albertans should feel proud of the good work we are doing on climate change – we continue to hear a lot of praise for the approaches we are taking and appreciation for the results we are getting. Our commitment to action is catching the attention of many outside of Canada.

Minister McQueen with Environment Canada Minister, Peter Kent.

Minister McQueen with Environment Canada Minister, Peter Kent.

Later in the day, I had productive meetings with industry representatives from Dow and Shell. Additionally, I received an update on the COP18 negotiations from federal Environment Minister, Peter Kent. We also discussed several ongoing projects.

COP18 Opening High Level Plenary

I had the pleasure of participating in the opening of the high level segment of COP 18 where the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani welcomed delegates to Doha and spoke to the importance of nations coming together to address climate change. The Emir described the measures that Qatar is taking to reduce the impact of its economy on the environment.

We had a very interesting meeting with Dr. Subho Benerjee who is leading negotiations here at COP18 for the Australian government. Australia is approaching climate change in ways that parallel our own approach in Alberta so they were very interested to hear about the results of our system.

In addition to participating in COP18 sessions, in the coming days I have additional speaking opportunities, including a presentation on sustainable development at Qatar University. I will also meet with a number of delegation, industry and environmental leaders.  I look forward to reporting back.

Here is a video clip from my opening remarks on the IETA panel.

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