Greenpeace condemns Alberta climate change plan



    EDMONTON, Jan. 24 /CNW Telbec/ - Premier Ed Stelmach's climate change
announcement will continue to allow a dramatic increase of greenhouse gas
emissions in Alberta, says Greenpeace Canada.
    Based on information in media reports, the Alberta government appears
poised to deliver a plan endorsing intensity-based greenhouse gas emission
targets and carbon sequestration for oil, gas and electricity production.
    "Carbon capture and storage is a high-cost option with long lead times,"
said Mike Hudema, an energy campaigner with Greenpeace. "Sequestration
programs will prevent investment in more cost-effective green energy solutions
to global warming."
    Alberta plans to allow industry to avoid making emission reductions by
investing in technology funds at $15 per tonne of emissions. This
underestimates the cost of carbon capture and storage, making government
subsidies virtually inevitable. Last September, Saskatchewan Power cancelled a
proposed coal plant with carbon capture and storage after capital cost
estimates doubled.
    The Alberta government has continued with intensity-based targets, which
are based on emissions reductions per unit of economic activity, thus allowing
absolute emissions to rise if production increases. This is a particular
problem with the tar sands, where production is expected to increase three to
five-fold over the next decade.
    "Big oil continues to dictate climate policy in Alberta," said Hudema.
"It's time for the government to get its head out of the tar sands, and make
the environment a priority."
    The Klein and Stelmach governments have allowed greenhouse gas emissions
in Alberta to increase 37.4 per cent between 1990 and 2005 (170 to 233 million
tonnes), making Alberta the largest greenhouse gas emitter in the country.
Alberta has only 10 per cent of Canada's population, but is responsible for
31 per cent of the country's total greenhouse gas emissions (233 out of
747 million tonnes).
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last year called on
industrial nations to make emission reductions of 20 to 45 per cent by 2020
from 1990 levels. Greenpeace has called on Canada to make a 30 per cent
reduction by 2020. In Alberta, this would mean a reduction of 51 million
tonnes from the 1990 level of 170 million tonnes.
    The provincial premiers will be meeting in Vancouver on January 28 and
29th to discuss climate change.




For further information:

For further information: Mike Hudema, Climate & Energy Campaigner, cell
(780) 504-5601; Dave Martin, Climate & Energy Co-ordinator, cell (416)
627-5004


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