Canadian Underwriter

Alberta appoints task force to help province transition to lower-carbon economy

September 20, 2016   by Canadian Underwriter

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The Alberta government announced on Monday that it has appointed a task force to provide recommendations on targeting investments in climate technology to help transition to a lower-carbon economy.

power plantAs part of Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan, the government will phase out pollution created by coal burning by 2030, impose a carbon levy and rebates, cap oilsands emissions and reduce methane emissions. To help guide these investments, the government has appointed an independent task force to engage with Albertans, the provincial Ministry of Economic Development and Trade noted in a press release.

The task force will conduct targeted, regionally dispersed, invitation-only engagement sessions with knowledgeable innovation and technology stakeholders in Alberta; focus on the innovations and technologies that can contribute to a global low carbon economy; provide recommendations on specific outcomes for a climate change technology framework; deliver advice on how Alberta’s research and innovation system could support provincial climate change technology objectives; and provide recommendations for how to effectively demonstrate value (economic, environmental, and social) derived from long-term clean/green technology within the short- and long-term.

The task force will provide a written report to the government of Alberta at the end of November, summarizing the findings of the engagement and providing a recommended approach for a provincial climate change innovation and technology framework.

These engagements will bring together a cross-section of academic, business, government, and not-for-profit representatives in climate change-related technology research and development through targeted sessions in Calgary, Edmonton, Grande Prairie and Lethbridge in October. In addition, the release said, Albertans are invited to provide their views on how the province can invest in innovation and technology that will shift Alberta to a low-carbon economy by emailing

The task force consists of a chair and four members with significant experience and knowledge in research, development and deployment of climate change-related technology, the release said. The chair of the task force is Gordon Lambert, who brings his learnings and experience as part of Alberta’s Climate Change Advisory Panel and board member of Alberta Innovates. The four members include:

  • W.L. (Vic) Adamowicz – vice dean in the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences and a distinguished university professor in the Department of Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology at the University of Alberta. His research has focused on the economic valuation of environmental amenities and ecosystem services and the incorporation of environmental values into economic analysis, with applications to forestry, water quality, air quality, endangered species and agriculture;
  • Shelly Vermillion – who has several years of experience working with a wide variety of small to medium enterprises, predominantly in the indigenous entrepreneur marketplace. She has spent much of her career working with First Nation communities and the citizens from communities struggling to launch and grow their businesses;
  • Suzanne West – president and CEO of Imaginea Energy, whose goal is to “discover a better way of developing energy resources and creating solutions and new possibilities to transform the energy industry”; and
  • Sara Hastings-Simon – director of the Pembina Institute’s Clean Economy program in Alberta. She has deep experience in clean technology, renewables and energy efficiency, through the lenses of policy, business and technology. Her work has included research and presentations on success factors in the clean technology industry, international and domestic policy for climate change and emissions reduction, consulting work on key business issues in the clean technology sector with utilities, solar developers, venture capital firms and governments, and development of a detailed model of the North American power sector.

“Alberta, along with every jurisdiction in the world, is in a race for technology and innovation,” said Deron Bilous, Minister of Economic Development and Trade, in the release. “Our advantage as an energy leader, and the government’s action on the Climate Leadership Plan, means that we are uniquely positioned to lead on clean energy and technology – creating jobs and a more resilient, diversified economy for generations. This task force will help us do just that.”

Added Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks and Minister Responsible for the Climate Change Office: “Innovation and technology are key to achieving our climate leadership goals. These engagements will help guide and drive the research and innovation we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and promote healthy communities for future generations.”

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1 Comment » for Alberta appoints task force to help province transition to lower-carbon economy
  1. Grant says:

    I am happy about this task force……however as an unemployed piping designer unable to find work for a year and a half now will not be attempting any longer to contribute my knowledge to this industry, and am sure many other skilled workers in this field will be following suit shortly if not already. Goodbye oil and gas development…….hello anything else!

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