Fraser Forum

Alberta government should release its analysis of federal climate change policies

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Alberta government should release its analysis of federal climate change policies

The federal Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development recently identified significant weaknesses in the federal government’s modelling of its own climate change policies. Climate change policy modelling involves the use of computer-based models to analyze the impact of government policies on key indicators such as economic growth, employment, investment, government revenues and greenhouse gas emissions.

Also recently, the Business Council of B.C. raised concerns about  the British Columbia NDP government’s modelling of the harmful economic impacts of its CleanBC plan, further underscoring the need for governments to disclose the impacts of their climate change policies prior to their hasty implementation.

The weakness in federal modelling of climate change policies is very unfortunate for Albertans, as the impacts of harmful policies represent a clear and present danger to the Alberta economy, its workers and provincial finances.

According to a preliminary analysis by Alberta Treasury Board and Finance, the implementation of the federal government’s 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan would see Alberta’s economy $37 billion smaller than normal in 2030. There would be about 80,000 fewer jobs available in 2030 than normal., And Alberta government revenues would be 6 to 7 percent less, or about $4.2 billion lower than normal in 2030.

These are big numbers, but Albertans need more detail on the damage that federal climate change policies could have on our provincial economy, our jobs and our finances, so we can present the best possible defense against Ottawa’s harmful policy intrusions. Here’s where the Alberta government can fill the information void left by Ottawa.

Over the past year, the Alberta government has devoted a great deal of time assessing the harmful impacts of federal climate change policies on Alberta and Albertans. This includes work within government and by outside organizations, using Albertans’ money.

Attendees of the upcoming global climate change conference in Dubai (Nov. 30 to Dec. 12) will try to pressure countries such as Canada to agree to increasingly unrealistic climate change targets. Albertans should be very uneasy—the Trudeau government will almost certainty use the Dubai conference to double and triple down on harmful climate change policies, which are direct threats to the future livelihood of Albertans.

If the federal government won’t protect the interests of Albertans, then the Alberta government must act. To put forward the best possible defense of the province’s interests on the world stage and to pressure Ottawa to adopt realistic climate change targets, the Alberta government must publicly release its analyses of the harmful impacts of federal climate change policies prior to the Dubai conference. We, as Albertans, must know what we face from these unrealistic and harmful federal climate change policies.

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