Alberta government won’t seek meeting with teen enviro-activist Greta Thunberg

NDP Opposition Leader Rachel Notley urged Alberta’s United Conservatives to meet with Thunberg

The Alberta government won’t seek out a meeting with teen climate activist Greta Thunberg, but Environment Minister Jason Nixon said he hopes the Swedish girl takes time to learn about the province’s oil and gas industry.

“I think when you look at some of Miss Thunberg’s comments, she doesn’t understand our province, that she doesn’t understand the reality that to accomplish climate change goals worldwide, we need Alberta as part of that solution,” Nixon told reporters Tuesday.

“We have the most environmentally friendly place in the world to produce oil and gas products.”

Thunberg has been making international headlines, meeting with leaders and leading protests demanding governments take action to address climate change and its resulting catastrophic weather events.

The 16-year-old Stockholm student is currently touring North America and took to social media on the weekend to say she will be visiting Alberta in the coming days. She didn’t say when or what she will be doing.

WATCH: Greta Thunberg addresses UN climate summit

Her media co-ordinator, Connor Turner, said in an email that he could not provide details of her itinerary.

NDP Opposition Leader Rachel Notley urged Alberta’s United Conservatives to meet with Thunberg as part of a larger commitment to embrace climate change as a reality and to do something about it.

“While I obviously don’t agree with every prescription that Greta is proposing, I definitely do agree that we have a (climate change) problem and we need to take that problem seriously,” Notley said.

“We need to be leaders. We don’t need to be cowards. What’s happening right now, by blaming everybody else, our premier is being a coward.”

Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi have both said they would meet with Thunberg to discuss their climate initiatives.

Thunberg has become a lightning rod of debate over climate change, being lauded as a plain-speaking trailblazer and vilified as a misguided melodramatic doomsayer.

In Alberta, she will find herself in the vortex of an increasingly angry and polarized debate: how to meet and prosper from the reality of a present-day carbon economy while embracing a greener, low carbon future.

Premier Jason Kenney and his government have blamed the federal government and the previous NDP government in Alberta for impeding pipelines and driving down oil and gas investment.

The province has launched a $30-million war room and a public inquiry targeting those they believe are funding and encouraging eco-protesters to shut down Alberta’s nest-egg industry.

It has also killed much of a climate change plan brought in by Notley, which included a consumer carbon tax, shutting down coal-fired electricity generation and moving to more renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.

Kenney’s government said the solution is technology, and in the coming weeks his government will introduce a new plan to tax large-scale greenhouse gas emitters to fund technological innovation.

Notley said what Kenney and his United Conservatives should not do is further polarize the debate as they did two weeks ago, when demonstrators marched on the legislature as part of a global day of action on climate change.

No one from the government spoke and staff in the premier’s communications office put signs up in windows saying “I Love Canadian Oil and Gas.”

The NDP labelled the signs a juvenile stunt. The signs remain in the windows.

Notley said if that happens again with Thunberg, the UCP won’t be able to undo the bad press it will create.

Dean Bennett, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Lacombe’s Nowco Home Hardware donates to Safe Harbour Society

Two large loads of warm clothing, mitts and McDonald’s gift cards donated

Lacombe County, Summer Village of Gull Lake sign Intermunicipal Collaboration Framework

Agreement specifies what and how services are funded and delivered

Wolf Creek Public Schools board meeting – Jan. 16, 2020

MLA Luncheon, Poverty Simulation, Rock the Diploma and more discussed

UPDATE: AA Lacombe Generals win two games including blockbuster against Daysland

Five unanswered goals on Friday, three on Saturday lead to 2-0 weekend for Gens’

‘Elder in the Making’ Herr Lecture in Lacombe brings light to Treaty 7

Documentary film/interactive talk highlights relationship between Blackfoot elder, Chinese newcomer

Huawei exec’s extradition hearing begins in Canada

China’s foreign ministry complained the United States and Canada were violating Meng’s rights

Prince Harry: ‘Powerful media’ is why he’s stepping away

Prince Harry and Megan have stepped away from their royal commitments

Rebels fight back from 3-1 Raider lead to win 4-3 in shootout

Two goals by Zak Smith key to Rebels comeback

‘Extensive’ work planned at Big Bar landslide ahead of salmon, steelhead migration

Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan visited the site of the slide from June

Royal deal clears way for Harry, Meghan part-time Canada move: experts

Keith Roy of the Monarchist League of Canada said the deal is exactly what Harry and Meghan asked for

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

Most Read