The Province of Alberta

Population: 4,196,457 (2015)

GDP: C$ 320,113,000,000 (2014)

Country: Canada

Total GHG emissions (year): 267 Mt (2013)

GHG emissions/capita/year: 66 tonnes (2013)

Alberta is the fourth-largest province in Canada by population. Spanning 661,848 square kilometres, Alberta covers almost 7% of Canada's land mass. The diverse landscape includes mountains, glaciers, foothills, lakes, rivers, forests, badlands, wetlands and open plains. It also includes the oilsands which are home to the third largest proven reserves of oil in the world.

Climate change is a serious challenge in Alberta given its natural resource-focused economy. It will likely result in long-term changes in temperature and precipitation, as well as increased frequency and severity of weather events such as droughts, floods, forest fires and severe storms.

That’s why the Alberta government is taking leadership with its Climate Leadership Plan. In November 2015, Alberta released its plan to protect Albertans’ health, the environment and its economy for future generations.

The plan moves Alberta away from coal and toward clean, renewable power, reduces pollution by putting a price on it, sets emissions limits on oil sands emissions, makes Alberta a leader in energy efficiency, and dramatically cuts high-polluting methane emissions.

  • Key Targets / Successes

    Climate policy and GHG emissions reduction targets:

    Alberta is phasing in a carbon price of CAN$30 per tonne.

    Alberta is phasing out all coal emissions by 2030.

    Alberta is setting a limit on oilsands emissions at 100 megatonnes a year.

    Alberta is transitioning to more renewable energy and natural gas generation by 2030.

    Alberta is reducing methane emissions by 45% by 2025.

     

  • Current activities

    Flagship initiative:

    Alberta will phase in a $30-per-tonne, economy-wide carbon price. Alberta’s new carbon price will be implemented in two steps: a $20 economy wide price in January 2017, and then a $30 price in January 2018. This will evolve Alberta’s current approach which levies a carbon charge against large emitters only.

    Oilsands Emissions:

    An overall oilsands emission limit of 100 megatonnes per year, with provisions for new upgrading and co-generation.

    Renewable Energy:

    Alberta will phase out all coal emissions by 2030 and replace it with renewable power and natural gas.

    • Two-thirds of coal-generated electricity will be replaced by renewables – primarily wind power – while natural gas generation will continue to provide firm base load reliability.
    • Renewable energy sources will comprise up to 30% of Alberta’s electricity production by 2030.

    Energy efficiency:

    Alberta will implement programs to help families, individuals, businesses and communities reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and save money on their energy bills.

    Methane reduction:

    In collaboration with industry, environmental organizations and affected First Nations, Alberta will implement a methane reduction strategy to reduce emissions by 45% from 2014 levels by 2025.

    Clean transportation:

    Alberta’s $2 billion Green Transit Incentives Program (GreenTRIP) takes cars off the road and reduces traffic congestion by supporting municipalities to provide sustainable public transit alternatives.

    Municipalities can apply for GreenTRIP capital funding to help purchase transit vehicles and technologies, build transit terminals and expand light rail transit services that increase ridership and reduce traffic congestion.

    Sustainable land use:

    Alberta uses an integrated resource management approach to land-use planning, which is fundamental to managing the impact of development on Alberta’s land, air, water and biodiversity. Regional plans provide policy and regulatory direction on issues such as managing cumulative effects on the environment, land conservation, managing the working landscape responsibly, and providing economic growth and diversification.

    Innovative financing:

    The Alberta government will be re-investing the revenue from its price on carbon back into Alberta’s economy:

    • It will be reinvested directly into measures to reduce pollution, including clean research and technology; green infrastructure such as public transit; and programs to help people reduce their energy use.
    • It will also go toward an adjustment fund that will help families make ends meet, and support small businesses, First Nations and people working in the coal industry through the transition.

    More Info

    Devolved powers and competencies relevant to climate and energy:

    In Canada, individual provinces are responsible for the development, conservation and management of non-renewable natural resources and the production of electricity. 

    Under the Canadian Constitution, provinces and the federal government share responsibility for environmental management.

    Most important economic sectors:

    • Energy
    • Agriculture
    • Forestry

    GHG breakdown by sector (%):

    Oilsands

    22

    Other oil and gas

    24

    Electricity

    17

    Transportation

    11

    Other industry, manufacturing and construction

    9

    Agriculture, forestry and waste

    9

    Buildings and houses

    8

    Source: Alberta Environment and Parks analysis, based on Environment Canada, 2014 Emissions Trends Report, adjusted for 2006 IPCC Guidelines and 2007 IPCC Global Warming Potentials.

    Current power sector mix (%):

    Coal

    55

    Natural Gas

    35

    Nuclear

    N/A

    Wind

    4

    Biomass

    3

    Hydro

    2

    Other

    1

    Alberta’s actual electricity generation for 2014. Source: Alberta Utilities Commission. Other includes fuel oil and waste heat. These sources are used, but do not comprise a full per cent of actual generation.

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