Alberta’s environment minister isn’t expecting any changes in how the province will approach climate change, now that Donald Trump will become U.S. President in January. Shannon Phillips said the plan was put together with the U.S. not doing anything extraordinary or changing course.
She said it means the province has positioned itself to have the environment and the economy work together.
“Mr. Trump has said a lot of things,” Phillips told reporters on a conference call from U.N. climate meetings in Marrakesh, Morocco. “There’s really a lot of hypotheticals right now and from our perspective there’s a lot of unknowns.”
“What is known is that we’ve already written our climate plan. We did not write it around an ambitious American climate plan. We wrote it around business as usual.”
That means Alberta will stay with its 100 mega-tonne cap on the oil sands, with the phase out of coal, and with the price regime it announced earlier this year that will kick in in 2017, one year ahead of the mandated carbon taxes imposed by the Trudeau government.
“From our perspective on carbon pricing, Canada remains a leader and we will continue to be leaders through the carbon pricing leadership committee with the World Bank, with others.”
“We now have China moving into a cap-and-trade system next year so carbon pricing remains something much of the world is doing.”
Phillips said she believes Alberta’s climate-change initiatives will open up business and investment opportunities for the province, not restrict them, which will mean a growth in construction jobs.