Alberta climate plan for industry retains key parts of old legislation
$30 a tonne for emissions over benchmark or collect credits if beneath.
EDMONTON — Alberta has introduced a new climate plan for the province’s big greenhouse gas emitters.
Environment Minister Jason Nixon says it will achieve what he calls similar emissions cuts to the old government’s plan but at less cost to industry.
Most industrial facilities are to receive an individual emissions benchmark based on past performance.
They are to pay a carbon price of $30 a tonne for emissions over their benchmark or collect emissions credits if they go beneath.
The money is to go to technology projects that reduce carbon, debt relief and Alberta’s so-called war room aimed at countering criticism of the province’s energy industry.
Critics say the approach punishes operators that have already invested in emissions reductions.
Nixon says it will still provide enough financial pressure to bring emissions down.
The United Conservative Party has retained key elements of the former NDP government’s plan that target power generation, Alberta’s largest source of greenhouse gases.
Power plants will all have the same benchmark, an approach experts say provides more incentive to improve.
Nixon says preliminary indications from federal officials suggest the new plan will meet Ottawa’s requirements.
It does not affect the federal carbon tax, which is to be implemented in Alberta on Jan. 1 and still faces court challenges.