Alberta Premier Danielle Smith offered positive remarks following the first Alberta-Ottawa working group session on emissions reduction and energy development.
Smith’s United Conservative Party (UCP) government created a working group delegation to find common ground with the federal Liberal Party’s environmental mandate.
“The working group agreed to initially focus discussions on the recently released federal electricity regulations as its first priority,” Smith said.
“In addition, it agreed to commence the development of a regulatory framework for small modular reactor (nuclear) technology and to continue work on federal and provincial financial incentives for CCUS, hydrogen and other emission-reducing technologies.”
Smith said the UCP delegation made it clear to the federal delegation that both sides are committed to securing safe, affordable and reliable electricity for Albertans.
2035 or 2050
But the UCP delegation reiterated that Alberta aims to achieve a carbon-neutral economy and power grid by 2050, as opposed to the federal 2035 net-zero power grid timeline.
“The Alberta delegation also expressed its position that introduction by the federal government of the final federal electricity regulations, an oil and gas emissions cap or a methane cap during the course of the working group’s negotiations would be unacceptable to Alberta and risk the viability of the working group’s continued discussions,” Smith said.
She added that both sides agreed to meet every two to three weeks and to report on any developments.
Smith vs Guilbeault
Last month, Smith criticized Canada’s Climate Change Minister for displaying “appalling” double standards by pointing out his contrasting treatment of China compared to his own country.
“The Minister of Environment doesn’t know a single thing about our power grid,” she said.
“I find it appalling as do most Albertans that he is co-chairing a committee with China that has a 2060 target.”