It was a productive week at the 18th annual United Nations climate change conference in Doha, Qatar.
I had many conversations where I was able to share the good work being done in Alberta to address the environmental, economic and social outcomes of our resource development. I’ve had the opportunity to share our methods with some of the best and brightest experts around the world. I heard many compliments and confirmations that we’re on the right track and I look forward to coming back home with new knowledge and updated perspectives.
I also had the great opportunity to tour Ras Laffan City – a large industrial park – which has been recognized for pioneering environmentally sustainable oil and gas practices. Services in the city support off-shore extraction from Qatar’s vast gas reserves. They’ve developed world-class facilities for the extraction, storage, processing, and export of liquefied natural gas and have become a global hub for clean energy production.
The planning and pace of development in this area was very impressive. The facility’s extensive pipe network draws water from the nearby sea to use for cooling. Before returning the water to the sea, they send it over a man-made water fall to cool it down.
This tour was an excellent opportunity to share best practices and profile some of Alberta’s transparency initiatives, like our Oil Sands Information Portal.
Sasol GTL also hosted a tour of their facility. Sasol’s leading technology to convert coal-to-liquid and gas-to-liquid has made them the world’s largest producer of synthetic fuels. The company employs approximately 34,000 people in 30 countries. They recently set up an office in Calgary to manage the newly created Sasol Canada operations.
Sasol staff were very friendly and knowledgeable as they shared work being done in Doha. They were very interested to learn more about our new regulatory framework.
Before heading home, I met with some of Alberta’s delegates attending the conference, as well as some Albertans currently working in Qatar. I enjoyed hearing about their life and work as teachers, professors, project managers and developers overseas. Everyone had great things to say and enjoyed getting an update from home.
I also met with the German delegation, where we had a frank conversation on the upcoming European Fuel Quality Directive vote. I was able to update them on the work being done in the oil sands and they’ve expressed an interest in learning more about Alberta’s system.
I see more than ever the importance of sharing Alberta’s clean energy story with the world. As a proud Albertan, I appreciated the opportunity to speak to the significant achievements we’ve made. As I reflect on what we have learned from all our interactions – ranging from formal presentations, meetings with delegations, and discussions with stakeholders – it strikes me how very proud I am of Alberta’s track record and leadership.
We are committed to the responsible development of our resources. We are also committed to tackling climate change through emission reductions and innovative technologies to reduce our environmental impacts. In order to export our resources to new markets, we need to ensure the world continues to learn more about the good work we are doing in our province.
Alberta is recognized for advancing integrated resource management in a way that drives towards sustainability and for our practical and results-oriented approach to addressing climate change.
As Minister of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, I had the distinct pleasure of representing Alberta at COP18. I recognize that the positive Alberta story that I was able to carry to Doha and share with countries around the world was because of the hard work and sincere efforts of our staff and our stakeholders who work with us. Thank you, “Team Alberta”!
– Diana McQueen