ALBERTA

Rachel Notley Says There Are Many Ways To Have Success At Paris Climate Talks

11/28/2015 12:22 EST | Updated 11/29/2015 01:59 EST

EDMONTON — While the focus is expected to be on greenhouse gas emissions targets at the Paris climate summit, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley says there are many ways to achieve success.

"I am hopeful to see that we agree to a number of significant policy changes that will bring about real emissions reductions worldwide," said Notley on Saturday, prior to boarding a plane for Paris.

"I think those will be achieved through a number of different mechanisms. I believe that Canada is going to working very hard to make sure that we play our part."

Notley will be part of the Canadian delegation, headed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, at the 21st Conference of the Parties meeting in Paris, where more than 160 countries will try to hammer out commitments to cut C02 emissions.

Federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, also in Paris, has said no one expects Canada to submit its emissions cut targets at the meetings, adding that Canada will craft its framework strategy in the three months following the conference.

"I think our renewed commitment to taking real action will in and of itself be a success for us."

But federal NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair says concrete action is critical and that without firm CO2 reduction targets, the Paris summit could be branded a failure.

Trudeau's government has already stated its commitment to reducing the emissions that are heating the atmosphere and, if not reduced, are predicted to lead to catastrophic changes to the Earth's ecosystem.

On Friday, Trudeau pledged another $2.65 billion over five years toward a UN climate fund to aid developing countries.

Trudeau also takes with him in his back pocket Alberta's sweeping new climate change strategy, introduced by Notley a week ago.

Notley's plan aims to impose a broad carbon tax and launch long-term changes to end coal-fired electricity generation and cap greenhouse gas emissions from the oilsands.

Alberta's resource-based economy makes up a third of Canada's total GHG emissions.

Notley has said that not only is her plan the right thing to do environmentally, it will give Alberta some moral leverage when it bids to expand its oil and gas resource network through such mechanisms as pipelines.

U.S. President Barack Obama recently rejected the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta to Texas on the grounds the line would further propagate the production of "dirtier" oilsands product.

Notley says the steps Trudeau has already taken will help Canada in Paris and beyond.

rachel notley

Notley's Alberta climate change strategy aims to impose a broad carbon tax and launch long-term changes to end coal-fired electricity generation. (Photo: The Canadian Press)

"Coming from where we were before in terms of being a somewhat reluctant participant in this process, I think our renewed commitment to taking real action will in and of itself be a success for us," she said.

Notley will stay in Paris for three days and then be replaced by provincial Environment Minister Shannon Phillips.

The premier has a number of meetings planned, including talks with the international gas firm Air Liquide and the International Emissions Trading Association.

She declined to discuss specifics of what will be discussed except to say she will make clear Alberta's renewed commitment and its actions to reduce greenhouse gases.

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