Alberta takes bold action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Our province has taken a major stride forward to tackle the greenhouse gas emissions challenge on behalf of Albertans and all Canadians. We are investing in two practical initiatives that will reduce emissions equal to taking more than a million cars per year off the road. That amounts to one-third of all the vehicles registered in Alberta.

Ray Prins

July MLA Report

Our province has taken a major stride forward to tackle the greenhouse gas emissions challenge on behalf of Albertans and all Canadians. We are investing in two practical initiatives that will reduce emissions equal to taking more than a million cars per year off the road. That amounts to one-third of all the vehicles registered in Alberta.

Alberta is allocating $4 billion to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Two billion dollars will go toward projects to advance carbon capture and storage. And $2 billion will be invested in energy-saving public transit.

The money comes from what we expect will be a larger surplus than forecasted for this year. Alberta is investing for the future by taking meaningful action on climate change, without endangering jobs, the economy or our ability to support public services.

Carbon capture and storage involves collecting, transporting and locking industrial carbon emissions in rock formations deep in the earth. It has been identified as one of few technologies able to substantially reduce global greenhouse gas emissions. Alberta has the right geology for permanent carbon storage and many experts agree this is the best way for Canada to meet its emission targets.

Alberta’s $2 billion investment is the largest amount of money dedicated to carbon capture and storage anywhere in the world. We expect to see three to five large-scale projects developed to store up to five million tonnes of CO2 per year by 2015. In addition to significant reductions, carbon capture and storage technology offers enormous potential for other activities like injecting CO2 into existing oil fields to boost production and up graders locating here to meet reduction targets.

While carbon capture and storage addresses energy production, your government knows we also need to take action on the consumer front. That’s why $2 billion has also been committed to the Green Transit Incentives Program, or Green TRIP. Green TRIP funding will be available to all municipalities, regional entities, non-profit organizations and private-sector groups for new transit projects, such as buying transit vehicles, developing LRT and inter-city commuter rail systems, and building park-and-ride facilities. The program supports projects that significantly reduce the number of vehicles on the road to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

These bold actions are all part of the vision Premier Ed Stelmach has laid out for greening our growth, building communities and creating opportunity for Albertans. We are not waiting for others to act. We are responding to climate change in ways that are practical and effective, to ensure Alberta remains a leader in responding to the global climate change challenge.

For more information on Alberta’s climate change strategy visit www.alberta.ca. If you would like further information on this or any issue, please contact my constituency office at (403) 782-7725, toll free at 1-800-565-6432, by mail 101, 4892-46 St., Lacombe, AB T4L 2B4 or by e-mail lacombe.ponoka@assembly.ab.ca.

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