TORONTO, Nov. 22, 2015 /CNW/ - Leaders in science, environment and policy reacted today to the Government of Alberta's new climate change strategy.
"Moving off of coal and onto renewables is an essential part of this global energy transition. Alberta has made the right choice in its new plans to act on climate."
-- Dr. Tim Flannery, Best-selling author of The Weather Makers and Atmosphere of Hope. Head of the Australia Climate Council, Chair of the Copenhagen Climate Commission and member of the Sustainability Advisory Board of Tata Power (India).
"The climate plan announced today by Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is impressive in its scope and ambition. It's especially significant coming from a province that has for years based its economic strategy on the expansion of its carbon-intensive tarsands. When combined with the actions being taken in British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec, today's action by Alberta puts Canada's new Prime Minister in a strong position to restore Canada's leadership just as the climate summit starts next week in Paris."
-- Ken Kimmell, president of the Union of Concerned Scientists, former Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, and chair of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
"This strategy re-positions Alberta as a climate leader in a century when those that lead will win. It marks the start of transition to a cleaner and more efficient economy that respects environmental limits."
-- Tim Grey, Executive Director, Environmental Defence Canada
"Six million barrels of tar sands per day are currently permitted, but under this plan and under existing technology, half of that -- three million barrels per day that would have burned -- will now stay in the ground and that is good news for the climate."
-- Karen Mahon, Director, Forest Ethics
"It's a new day for Alberta. This historic announcement by Alberta, a carbon rich jurisdiction, to voluntarily constrain their largest source of emissions and commit to a low carbon pathway, sends a clear and positive signal to the world shortly before the Paris Climate Summit. This should boost confidence of Canada in the international negotiations. This announcement comes at just the right time. With the climate talks just days away, world leaders should aim for an equally inspired vision to deliver a truly transformative agreement in Paris."
-- Jennifer Morgan, Global director Climate Program, World Resources Institute
"Today, the world is seeing that bold and decisive leadership to tackle the climates crisis and grow the clean energy economy can emerge from the home of the dirty and dangerous tar sands industry. Premier Rachel Notley's steps to transition Alberta beyond coal, limit tar sands emissions, and dramatically increase wind and solar power further prove it is impossible to ignore both the obligation to act on climate and the undeniable opportunities clean energy offers across the globe -- and especially in oil country.
-- Michael Brune, Executive Director, Sierra Club US
On a public policy Richter scale, Alberta's new Climate Leadership Plan is an 11. The implementation of an economy-wide carbon price consistent with that in other provinces and a limit on oil sands emissions will begin to bend the pollution curve downwards, ensuring the oil and gas industry in particular becomes more competitive and sustainable. This carbon price will also provide revenue that will be returned to Albertans and used for badly needed infrastructure improvements.
-- Rick Smith, Executive Director, Broadbent Institute
"This marks an important change of direction for Alberta that could pave the way for a more climate-friendly national policy. While more will be needed to reduce the impacts of tar sands extraction on our climate, the Boreal forest and First Nations communities, Alberta's announcement represents a strong first step in transitioning the province from tar sands toward a sustainable economy based on clean energy. We look forward to working with both Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to help Canada become a world leader in fighting dangerous climate change.''
-- Anthony Swift, Director, Canada Project, NRDC
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