After taking a look at the recently released Alberta Tory green plan, it's pretty clear that only a trained monkey (or the staunchest Tory partisan) would be running to the front lines to defend and promote it as the great green hope of the Province of Alberta. Here's what I've gathered from a look at the report released by Ed Stelmach yesterday:
1) Alberta will allow greenhouse gas emissions to rise until 2020 (for another 12 years).
2) Alberta will deliver a 14-per-cent cut in emissions over 2005 levels by 2050 (something for Ed Stelmach to celebrate at his 99th Birthday party!)
3) The Tories will create a council of government and industry officials to to study studies which have been studied by government and industry study groups before before, which they will use to create a new study.
4) Ed Stelmach's Tories like pretty pictures, because this document is 70% pretty pictures.
5) The announcement also mentioned future investment in wind and solar power, but failed to mention anything about the Tories recent love-in with Nuclear power and the controversial proposed Nuclear power facility in Peace River. Why was this left out?
6) And lastly, it says quite a bit about the Stelmach Tories' green plan when Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper is taking a stronger stance on climate change...
If you're going to the job seriously, why bother at all? Today's Edmonton Journal editorial said it all:
Alberta's greenhouse gas targets lag far behind the federal government's commitment to cut emissions 20 per cent below 2006 levels by 2020, and 60 to 70 per cent by 2050.
Ottawa plans to stop the rise of greenhouse gas emissions within five years, whereas Alberta is looking at 12 years.
Alberta can and should be a leader in fighting climate change, instead, our Tory government has chosen quiet complacency and mediocrity. Maybe this is what happens after 36-years in power?
The government's vague announcement sets weak long-term targets, proposes little concrete action and calls for yet another industry-government council to figure out how to build a carbon-capture-and-storage network.