Environment Minister Shannon Phillips highlighted the investment opportunities in Alberta for international investors at the United Nations’ climate talks this week in Marrakech, Morocco.
During the week, Minister Phillips met with Dan Reifsnyder, Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of State; Sir David King, U.K. Special Representative for Climate Change; and John Roome, World Bank Senior Director for Climate Change. And she participated in discussions with Erik Solheim, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program.
She also met with youth delegates as well as counterparts from across Canada and the world to talk about Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan and how it will create jobs and prepare the province for a carbon-constrained world.
She was joined by Blood Tribe Chief Charles Weaselhead, who talked about the importance of collaboration on climate among all levels of government.
“We have set the policy signals to open our doors to new opportunities, new industries, new investment, diversification and therefore new jobs. Those opportunities are well appreciated in terms of the meetings we’ve had with other sub-national governments and others. The economic benefits of taking action on climate change are well understood by those in international climate finance, renewables, energy efficiency and clean tech.”
“Alberta joined The Climate Group last year in Paris and is already making a strong contribution to our global States & Regions Alliance. States and regions are leaders in taking climate action because they best understand the impacts and the economic levers to affect real change.”
Global investment in clean energy reached a record of US$329 billion last year despite the collapse of fossil fuel prices, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. As the price of low-carbon technology including solar panels and wind turbines continues to fall, renewables become more attractive to investors and more competitive with fossil fuels. With a carbon price, Alberta is positioned to attract at least $10 billion in new investments and create 7,200 jobs in renewable energy alone.
“I was very pleased to hear Minister Phillips outline Alberta’s very ambitious program: an ambitious emissions reduction plan, and an aggressive renewables target in a province with excellent wind and solar resources. Notice to all wind industry colleagues: Alberta is open for business!”
Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan also provides global leadership with tripling the use of renewable energy, creating a provincial-scale energy efficiency agency and re-investing billions of dollars into green infrastructure and low carbon technology innovation. Measures will protect Alberta’s environment from the dangerous effects of climate change and provide economic growth.
“The world is moving toward a carbon-constrained future despite political uncertainty, and countries and sub-national regions like Alberta risk being left behind without the right policies to attract investment. As soon as you price carbon, you open up investment opportunities that were not there previously.”