VANCOUVER | UNCEDED xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (MUSQUEAM), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (SQUAMISH) AND səlilwətaɬ (TSLEIL-WAUTUTH) TERRITORIES (August 3, 2023)
Stephen Thomas, Clean Energy Manager, David Suzuki Foundation, said:
“The announcement today from the Alberta government is mind-boggling. Alberta has seen the fastest growth of solar and wind electricity generation in Canada — attracting billions of dollars of investment for the province, lowering emissions and creating thousands of good jobs in the process.
“Wind and solar are the cheapest forms of electricity generation in history, with significant benefits in terms of human health, energy security and landscape impacts when compared to oil, coal and natural gas.
“Unfortunately, this move will further erode industry and international trust in the Alberta government’s commitments to climate action and affordable energy and is a confusing step backward for a province that is otherwise enjoying the benefits of renewable energy development.
“Ensuring that all energy projects are designed and permitted in ways that benefit communities, uphold Indigenous rights and title and minimize impacts on the landscape is important no matter where they are built in Canada. However, we see no need to introduce a moratorium only on the lowest-impact and lowest-cost forms of electricity generation like wind and solar, while higher-cost, higher-impact energy sources like fracked gas and oil sands continue to be developed and enjoy significant government subsidies.
“If the Alberta government is concerned about environmental impacts on landscapes and communities, it is curious why it hasn’t it taken similar steps for oil, gas and coal projects throughout the province. Alberta has over $260 billion in oil and gas liabilities, with significant unaddressed environmental problems including tens of thousands of orphaned oil and gas wells, tailings ponds in need of reclamation and other downstream impacts of oilsands development.
“Canada’s commitment to achieve 100 per cent zero-emissions electricity by the year 2035 is very popular in Alberta, with 64 per cent of people living in Alberta saying they either support or strongly support the target, according to a June 2023 poll.”
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The David Suzuki Foundation (DavidSuzuki.org | @DavidSuzukiFdn) is a leading Canadian environmental non-profit organization, founded in 1990. We operate in English and French, with offices in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. We collaborate with all people in Canada, including First Nations leadership and communities, governments, businesses and individuals to find solutions to create a sustainable Canada through scientific research, traditional ecological knowledge, communications and public engagement, and innovative policy and legal solutions. Our mission is to protect nature’s diversity and the well-being of all life, now and for the future.