With Earth Day tomorrow, a report on environmental issues has given Alberta a “D” grade.
The How Canada Performs: Environment report card from the Conference Board of Canada compares the performance of 16 countries, including Canada, and this year, Alberta ranked second to last.
James Knowles, reseach associate with the CBOC, says Alberta did poorly with waste, air pollution and climate change.
“It is one of the bottom ranked provinces and part of that is again because of the resource extraction industry which tends to produce a lot of waste,” explains Knowles. “Alberta’s waste diversion rate is relatively low compared to other provinces, so basically it comes down to the structure of Alberta’s Economy.”
Knowles says the resource-based-economy is the main reason Alberta got a “D.”
“Those industries tend to consume a lot of energy that tends to produce air emissions so it is not surprising that Alberta does have a higher per capita than province’s like Quebec, which doesn’t rely as intensively on resource extraction,” explains Knowles.
He says the carbon tax and coal power phase out will have a positive impact in those areas.
Knowles thinks the NDP’s policies will do more to help than the feds signing the climate agreement in New York Friday.
“the carbon tax provides companies with a meaningful incentive for companies to reduce emissions and switching from coal to natual gas will reduce emissions produced during electricity generations,” explains Knowles. “The federal government signing this one agreement signals the federal government might implement some policies but there is nothing set in stone.”
Canada recieved a “D” grade overall as well and ranks third-to-last and Saskatchewan is the only province ranked lower than Alberta provincially.
Knowles says Canada is the 13th on the list of 16 .
Canada and around 160 other countries are expected to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change Friday in New York. (twd)