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In April, Alberta, Canada, will elect a new provincial government. Many may be unaware that the current @rachelnotley govt has adopted a globally significant #climate plan. Here is what's in it, what it has done, and what is at stake next month. A THREAD #abvote 1/24
First, where did Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan plan come from? (George Soros, perhaps? Foreign-funded radicals?) No. It came from Albertans. A volunteer panel led by @andrew_leach spoke w 1K residents in-person and heard from 25K+ online. 2/24
The panel also engaged with 350+ stakeholders and met w Aboriginal Peoples in three cities, and received hundreds of detailed submissions from NGOs, industry groups and others. 3/24
The plan, released Nov 2015, focuses on 4 priorities: 1.Eliminate #coal power by 2030 2. Price #climate pollution w a meaningful and rising carbon price, 3. Cap #oilsands emissions at 100 MT per year, and 4. Slash dangerous methane emissions 45 per cent by 2025. 4/24
A few months later, the province also committed to ensure that renewables would make up at least 30 percent of the grid by 2030, then legislated that target. But wait, renewables are "uneconomic," right? Wrong. 5/24
Alberta’s first round of competitive, private-sector #cleanpower auctions, in Dec 2017, revealed wind to be the CHEAPEST source of new electricity in Canada. When complete, the new projects will power a quarter million Alberta homes. (Source: windpowermonthly.com/article/1452853) 6/24
Again, the average power purchase contract price per per megawatt-hour of wind pencilled out LOWER than the price of recent new Canadian natural-gas fossil fuel plants. Wind is a relative ⚡️ bargain, and unlike gas plants, wind does not contribute GHG pollution. 7/24
On more recent #wind energy contracts, companies will invest approx $1.2 billion in the province for 5 projects. Each will have 25%+ #Indigenous ownership. Together, they will have the capacity to generate enough carbon-free ⚡️ to power approx 300K 🏠 per year. 8/24
AB has also increased #solarpower production fivefold under the climate plan, and contracted 3 new solar farms dedicated to cleanly powering half of all government’s operations (wind will power the other ½). Albertans have energized about 3,100 solar installations to date. 9/24
Is it helping? Well, in 2014, when I co-authored (w @ThibaultBen) the @pembina @cleanenergycan “Power to Change” report, Alberta had the most polluting grid in Canada. Some 18 coal power units produced 60+ per cent of the province’s electricity. (cleanenergycanada.org/report/power-c…) 10/24
But as of 2018, coal delivered less than half of Alberta’s electricity. In two years, power sector GHG emissions plunged seven megatonnes, or 16% This was mostly natural gas replacing coal, but the direction is clear. 11/24
The province also launched @EfficiencyAB, a public #energyefficiency agency. Its programs have so far saved individual Albertans a collective $510 million, and slashed energy use by the equivalent of an amount that would power 1.2 million homes for one year. 12/24
What about coal workers? The carbon price is also funding a #justtransition program that provides financial, employment, and retraining support for #coal workers and coal-reliant communities impacted by the province's energy transition. 13/24
Transit? Carbon price revenue has funded expansions of 17 municipal transit systems, including 15 new light rail vehicles in #Calgary, and 28 new electric buses in #Edmonton. And the largest off-grid solar project in an indigenous community in Canada. 14/24
According to the most recent Climate Leadership Plan progress report, in 2017-18 the province re-invested $1.2 billion of carbon pricing revenue back into Alberta’s economy. Of this, province sent about 40% ($487,000,000) straight back to Albertans via rebates or tax cuts. 15/24
The government invested 60% (approx $700,000,000) in 50+ climate leadership programs and policies. These supported 5,000+ JOBS. By 2021 the province projects these investments will yield more than 52MT of cumulative GHG reductions. 16/24
If continued until 2030, Alberta’s latest modelling suggests the Climate Leadership Plan will head off the release of some 50 megatonnes of #GHG pollution. That would have the same climate impact as removing nearly HALF the passenger cars driving on Canada’s roads today. 17/24
Still with me? Good. The opposition United Conservative Party, led by Jason Kenney, hopes to sweep the polls next month. Mr Kenney has promised voters he will scrap both the carbon price and @efficiencyAB 18/24
In February, Mr Kenny said, if elected, his government would “no longer provide subsidies to uneconomic wind and solar power generation...” Despite the evidence to the contrary proven out in his own province, he called these projects “uneconomic.” (Hint: #FakeNews) 19/24
Now, Is the Climate Plan perfect? No. Its biggest flaw, by far, is its treatment of the province’s oil sands, a globally significant petroleum resource. Last year, @bsaxifrage analyzed the plan's oilsands cap in a story in the @natobserver (tinyurl.com/yb5konfl). 20/24
He concluded the cap still allows industry emissions to soar to 115 Mt. This would consume nearly 1/4 of Canada's target under the #ParisAgreement. (My take: Though stricter #oilsands GHG limits are scientifically necessary, they appear to be politically impossible.) 21/24
The Climate Leadership Plan also promised to slash #methane emissions - invisible leaks from pipes and #naturalgas wells, and routine industry venting. Unfortunately, on that front the government has done not nearly enough. It’s a huge missed opportunity. 22/24
Albertans understand the risks of climate change. They have felt impacts first hand, in the catastrophic 2013 flooding of downtown #Calgary. Three years later, the Horse River fire devastated the oil sands community of #FortMcMurray, forcing 80,000 to flee. 23/24
Wherever you are, if you care about the #climate, you should watch this election. And if you live in Alberta, please keep these considerations in mind when you head to the polls on April 16. Thank you! 24/24.
Correction: The Climate Advisory Panel members were compensated for their time.
Wow, 200 RTs! Thank you everyone for sharing this thread. It’s super encouraging to watch it getting traction!
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