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Published on Jun 12, 2015
Climate change has become a very polarized conversation, “where good sense and good reason, and often the public interest, is not served”, according to Steve Williams. The Ecofiscal Commission is trying to get an intelligent, practical conversation going, in order to move Canada forward.
Alberta was the first province to act on climate change, through the Specified Gas Emitters Regulation (SGER) – these funds were channeled into innovation and technology. Alberta’s “family business” is also Canada’s business, and Alberta’s ability to thrive directly impacts Canada’s economic prospects.
It is difficult to determine the exact direction in which crude oil prices will go, so it is important for us to have a conversation about the environment, the health of the economy and Canadian competitiveness. The relationship between these is complicated – “you cannot have a healthy economy without a healthy environment, and you cannot have a healthy environment without a healthy economy”.
Mr. Williams states that there are three characteristics that should define our efforts as we go forward: (1) the pressing need to stop talking and start taking action – according to David Keith, we need to embrace an “ecomodernist manifesto” – we need to be deliberate in the actions that we take, and embrace technology to get to a better future. [You can listen to David Keith’s interview with Jim Brown here: http://www.cbc.ca/radio/the180/animal...];
(2) The need to be innovative and to be bold. When we go ahead with policy, it is important that we take into account the fact that 80% of the CO2 production is at the point of combustion or the point of use of oil, gas or coal;
(3) We need to embrace the concept of directional leadership – this involves developing and testing policy solutions to drive behaviours in the right direction.
Though challenges lay ahead, it is important that we create a sustainable future. We have the opportunity to work towards provincial, national and international milestones, but it is important to balance it by making sure that the content within the policies is correct.