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Congratulations to Rachel Notley and the new Alberta NDP majority government. Their platform page is “not found” this morning, but it included several environmental pledges:

  • $5 million annually to partner with financial institutions and extend interest-free loans of up to $10,000 for energy-efficient retrofits to homes and businesses, such as upgrading windows and doors or installing solar panels and new furnaces;
  • Create energy efficiency strategy and renewable energy strategy; and
  • Reinvest the unused Carbon Capture money for 2015-16 into public transit construction.

Climate Change

Another focus will be bolstering the province’s reputation on climate change. Premier-elect Rachel Notley called the delay in Alberta’s climate change strategy ”profoundly irresponsible” and said the province needs to be at the table with British Columbia and Ontario to better harmonize an approach to controlling carbon emissions. Will Alberta join the Western Climate Initiative?

Notley said her party would work with industry to re-establish energy and environmental standards in the province using ”research-driven” best practices and a ”science-based” approach as opposed to ”the outcome of a lobbyist meeting on a golf course somewhere.” She promised a shake-up at the Alberta Energy Regulator to make protection of Alberta’ s land, air and water more central in the regulator’ s mandate, and to increase penalties for environmental damage.

She also promised a Resource Owners Rights Commission to review Alberta’s royalty structure and look for a way to incentivize local upgrading of bitumen before it is exported. Notley said she would promote oil transport by pipeline.

Now that both the Pope and Alberta are getting serious about climate change, is real change finally coming?

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