Alberta Hypes Climate Goal as Oil Sands Confront Rout, Bad Image

  • Premier Notley is pledging to seek leading role on climate
  • Province also needs to promote energy investment: Notley

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley is pledging to seek a leading role on climate change while promoting investment in the energy industry as the Canadian province grapples with the double-whammy of an oil rout and environmental opposition to its oil sands.

“It is long, long past due to get it right on the environment,” she told 1,600 business leaders in Calgary, home to Canada’s oil and gas industry. “Failing to move on climate change will create more instability” for industry.

Notley’s task of cleaning up an industry criticized for runaway emissions has been made more difficult by collapsing oil prices and job losses, resulting in business leaders demanding the provincial government take a light touch with any regulatory changes. Alberta’s economy will shrink this year after more than 4 percent growth last year.

Businesses in the city are concerned they’re not being heard, said Calgary Chamber of Commerce President Adam Legge, in an address before the premier’s speech. He emphasized companies’ interest in supporting the government to help the province overcome the current downturn.

Investors are looking for industries and jurisdictions that have “done their work on emissions,” she said. Notley has said her government will have a climate plan ahead of United Nations climate talks in Paris in December.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.