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Climate change: Equiterre salutes major shift announced by Alberta government

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Edmonton, Sunday, November 22, 2015 – In the days leading up to the Paris Conference and the first meeting of provincial and territorial leaders in Ottawa to discuss climate change, Equiterre would like to congratulate Alberta Premier Rachel Notley for the province’s new climate change policy announced in Edmonton today. This new plan proposes to end coal-fired electricity by 2030, to multiply renewable energy sources by three times in that same period, to implement an energy efficiency plan, to adopt a cap on emissions for oil sands production, and significantly lift the carbon tax in Alberta starting at 20$ a tonne in 2017 and 30$ in 2018.

“This is a major shift and an important wake-up call,” explains Steven Guilbeault, Senior Director at Equiterre, who was in Edmonton for the press conference. “I congratulate Premier Notley for this important decision, which will greatly contribute to the development of a national strategy for handling climate change and to the adoption of Canadian targets that are more ambitious than those proposed by the Harper government.”

“There’s a lot of good news in this announcement, such as the elimination of coal and the carbon tax,” declares Sidney Ribaux, Executive Director, Equiterre. “This good news must not, however, mask the fact that Canada still has a considerable effort to make when it comes to battling climate change. The federal government must now take the lead and act.”

Quebec’s largest environmental group would also like to underline that Justin Trudeau made an election promise to review federal environmental impact assessment processes including a climate test. This new process would, notably, take into consideration the demands of Canada’s First Nations.

“Given this climate plan, we will need to reassesse how much new hydrocabon infrastructure will be required in the future » added Guilbeault.

The ambitious plan announced for Alberta today, combined with the already active policies in provinces like Ontario and Quebec, give Ottawa the necessary momentum to implement a similarly determined plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for Canada, as well as a climate test that every new project falling under federal jurisdiction must pass.

Alberta currently represents 73% of the increase in Canada’s GHG emissions, with the oil sands accounting for 50% of the country’s increase in GHG emissions since 1990.

Equiterre is a non-profit organization that brings together 140,000 supporters and 14,000 members, who finance their awareness-raising and mobilization activities with citizens. The group is particularly active on issues relating to climate change, energy, transportation, agriculture and fair trade.

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For more information:
Dale Robertson
Media Relations, Équiterre