Minister’s blog: mission to Washington

I recently had the honour of joining Premier Redford on an important mission to Washington, where we met with US governors and state representatives to discuss Alberta’s actions and commitment to global environmental leadership.

We engaged in good discussion, highlighting our solid foundation of on-the-ground experience, groundbreaking policy initiatives and explaining Alberta’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as well as our success in this area. Many were interested to learn about our price on carbon, use of renewable energy, and investment in technology.

Following the weekend in the capital, I travelled to Vermont and Maine to meet with state and local officials. Once again, I shared Alberta’s story, discussing our climate change strategy, sustainable resource development, and our integrated resource management system. I shared with my colleagues Alberta’s progress on a number of important initiatives:

  • an unprecedented commitment to openness and transparency of energy development through the Oil Sands Information Portal;
  • ongoing work through the joint oil sands monitoring program with our federal partners;
  • the creation of an arms-length agency to oversee all environmental monitoring in the province;
  • a comprehensive land-use plan for the oil sands region that sets out strict triggers and limits through environmental frameworks, and sets aside a significant amount of protected land; and
  • our pursuit of renewable energy through the allocation of $444 million over three years to create opportunities for value-added bio-products; the use of alternative energy sources, such as wind power and geothermal; and our waste-to-energy and residue gasification initiatives.

Climate change was a major topic of discussion – and as a global issue with worldwide impacts, this came as no surprise. Alberta has a proud record of taking significant action on this front – including being the first jurisdiction in North America to put a price on carbon. To date, Alberta’s climate change strategy has resulted in more than 32 million tonnes of greenhouse gases reduced from business-as-usual, with $312 million contributed to our clean technology fund – $181 million of which has already been committed to more than 49 initiatives.

I am happy to say that the story of our environmental commitment and actions was met with enthusiasm. There was genuine interest in the work of Alberta – and a heightened understanding of the need to ensure balance in all development.

We seized the opportunity to talk about Alberta’s commitment as a jurisdiction that takes responsible resource development seriously.

As Albertans, Canadians, and global citizens, we are proud of our achievements and remain firmly committed to meeting our provincial greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets. We will continue to share our successes with the world.

I encourage you to read more about Alberta’s actions on our fact sheet.

– Diana McQueen

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