Notley unsure about cap-and-trade system for Alberta

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October 8, 2015 8:15 AM

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley recently responded to the federal NDP’s proposed plans for a national cap-and-trade policy, saying it may not be the best idea for the province. NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair says provinces may opt out of the policy if they have a more effective strategy in place, and a more effective strategy is the way Notley is looking to go.

“We need to move forward on climate change and what I’ve said is we’re going to look at a whole range of options, but we’re certainly not particularly interested in a plan that’s going to resolve in a transfer of capital outside of Alberta, and that particular approach is very much aligned with the framework that was discussed by Thomas Mulcair ...” she said.

A cap-and-trade system would put a limit on industry carbon emissions, with companies surpassing that limit able to buy credits from other companies that have effectively lowered their emissions.

See “Cap and trade,” Page 12

Notley has already assembled a climate change panel, chaired by Dr. Andrew Leach, that will review the province’s climate change policy, consult stakeholders and look into alternate ways to lower emissions.

“What I have said all along is that we’re not interested in a plan, barring exceptional circumstances or arguments to the contrary, that would see us moving capital out of Alberta, which means likely that the cap-and-trade plan is not going to work for us,” Notley said. “But really we’ve put a lot of effort and time into having Dr. Leech put together his proposals and do his consultations and do his study, so I really want to leave the door open for them to consider a full range of possibilities and make the recommendations that they make.”

Notley wanted to make clear that her plans for the province in no way contradicted the strategy put forward by the federal NDP, as previous comments she made publicly seemed to have caused some confusion.

“It was an inadvertent misunderstanding about the statement we made and I simply wanted to ensure that the statement we made was very much aligned with the position that was out there. I just wanted to clarify that because some people seem to misunderstand that.”

The Premier expects the report from Dr. Leach and his climate change panel to be completed by the end of the year, in time for the Conference of the Parties (COP) in Paris, France this December.

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