Statement by Keith Brooks, Programs Director, Environmental Defence
Toronto | Traditional territories of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishinaabeg, the Haudenosaunee, and the Huron-Wendat – At a time when over 100 wildfires are burning through Alberta, the provincial government’s moratorium on renewable energy is another attack on climate action. This moratorium on renewable energy is bad for business, bad for the environment and bad for Albertans.
Scaling up renewable energy is essential to addressing the climate crisis. Alberta has been Canada’s leading province for building renewable energy. Stopping now makes no sense. Albertans are already reaping the benefits of renewable energy: the creation of thousands of new jobs in communities across the province, billions of dollars in investments, and revenues for municipalities which are struggling with unpaid oil and gas taxes. This latest move threatens all of this.
Renewable energy is the cheapest source of new electricity generation. These new rules risk driving up the cost of energy bills at a time when Albertans are struggling with the cost of living crisis caused by dependence on fossil fuels.
While renewable energy projects already undergo extensive community consultations and must meet environmental requirements, the oil and gas industry faces very little accountability. The fossil fuel industry has disrupted close to 900 square kilometers and left tens of thousands of inactive and orphan wells. The price tag to clean up that mess is at least $120 billion – and mounting. Yet the Government of Alberta has shown no urgency in addressing these mounting environmental liabilities, beyond subsidizing the same companies responsible for the mess.
As provinces like Alberta continue to threaten Canada’s ability to meet its climate commitments, it is more important than ever that the federal government step in and deliver strong rules on clean electricity.
But Alberta cannot be let off the hook. The climate crisis is already harming communities and killing people across Alberta and the rest of Canada. Every province must do its part to reduce greenhouse gas pollution, at the pace and scale dictated by science.
ABOUT ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is a leading Canadian environmental advocacy organization that works with government, industry and individuals to defend clean water, a safe climate and healthy communities.
– 30 –
For more information or to request an interview, please contact:
Allen Braude, Environmental Defence, email@example.com, 416-356-2587