While most of us were enjoying the CFL playoff game between the Edmonton Eskimos and the Calgary Stampeders, which paves the path to the Grey Cup, the Alberta Government released their climate change strategy this past Sunday.
Called ‘Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan’, it will, “Accelerate the transition from coal to renewable electricity sources, put a price on carbon pollution for everyone and sets emission limits for the oil sands.”
Premier Rachel Notley said responding to climate change is what’s right for the future, working towards protecting jobs, health and of course, the environment.
“It will help us access new markets for our energy products and diversify our economy with renewable energy and energy efficiency technology,” she said. “We are going to do our part to address one of the world’s greatest problems. We are going to put capital to work, investing in new technologies, better efficiency, and job creating investments in green infrastructure. We are going to write a made in Alberta policy that works for our province and our industries, and keeps our capital here in Alberta.”
The plan is based off the advice gathered by the Climate Change Advisory Panel, formed this past fall. The government plans to phase out coal emissions by 2030 by replacing the existing coal electricity with renewable energy.
At face value, this plan sounds positive – an attempt to show that Alberta does have it together in the environmental department on the heels of the UN climate change summit to be held in Paris in the coming week. But with it comes a new carbon tax, that may end costing Albertans for heating their homes, for power and for gasoline.
At a first look, the Wildrose Opposition said the new tax will cost Albertans jobs and more money in their pocket.
Wildrose Leader Brian Jean said the new tax will hit families the hardest by making the average family pay thousands of dollars in new taxes.
“This new carbon tax will make almost every single Alberta family poorer, while accelerated plans to shut down coal plants will lead to higher power prices and further jobs losses,” said Jean. “With at least 65,000 jobs lost and counting, this new carbon tax will raise the price of everything, and put jobs at risk across the province.”
Wildrose estimates the carbon tax will raise the cost of heating per household by $230 per year, that it will raise the power bills for homeowners and businesses and that households will be around $365 more for gasoline.
According to the provincial government, whether we like it or not, all of us have to pay the price to protect the environment and repairing our global image.