The government of Alberta has received the first round of consensus advice from its Oil Sands Advisory Group (OSAG).
The group is composed of leaders from the oil sands industry, environmental groups, and affected communities. Its first task was to advise the province on growing oil sands production in compliance with its legislated 100 megatonne cap on annual emissions.
The Government of Alberta will now review the consensus advice and begin stakeholder consultations immediately.
“Our government was elected at a time when Alberta’s environmental reputation had hit an all-time low. In just two years we have worked with industry, civil society and communities to turn the corner, in no small part thanks to our limit on oil sands emissions. Alberta’s industry is now more competitive because we’ve worked together to create the right conditions for innovation and investment.”
“We are proud of this unprecedented collaboration. The aim of our consensus recommendations on phase one is to help Alberta develop a roadmap for a strong economy while reducing emissions. Alberta’s legislated cap on oil sands emissions is a critical part of Canada’s international climate change commitments. By bringing together a diverse range of voices to problem solve, Alberta is well-positioned for jobs and investment as Canada transitions to a low carbon future.”
With the first phase of work complete, OSAG is now on track to complete the second phase of its work by the end of June, which is to provide government advice on areas of targeted investment that will yield the greatest emissions reductions as production grows.
“Industry leaders agree that our emissions limit is the best way to encourage innovation and repair the damage to Alberta’s reputation. These actions have already helped ensure federal approval for new pipelines that will mean thousands of jobs, billions in new investment and a better price for Alberta’s oil in global markets. We are excited to work with industry as we now turn our focus to the development of new technologies that will drive emissions reductions, grow production and create jobs.”
With phase one complete and phase two winding down, the government would like to thank Tzeporah Berman, Karen Mahon, Alison Ronson, Christa Seaman and Lloyd Visser for their work.
The government is actively recruiting new members with relevant expertise for phase three, which will focus on regional land based management and improving environmental performance.
“I’d like to thank the outgoing members for their hard work and dedication to transforming Alberta into one of the most environmentally responsible energy producing jurisdictions in the world. We are proving that Alberta and Canada doesn’t need to choose between growing our economy and protecting our environment – we can and must do both.”