Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Alberta Fails for Years to Monitor Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan:auditor General

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Alberta Fails for Years to Monitor Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan:auditor General

Article excerpt

Alberta fails to monitor climate plan: auditor

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EDMONTON - Six years after Alberta announced targets for cutting greenhouse gas emissions it has yet to present an effective plan or report on making it happen, the auditor general said Tuesday.

"This is amazing," Merwan Saher told reporters on a conference call.

"We're in 2014 and there hasn't yet been a public report on the success or otherwise of the 2008 (greenhouse gas) reduction strategy."

He said responsibility lies with Environment Minister Robin Campbell and his predecessors.

"Ministerial oversight has been lacking because good oversight would have insisted on there being good results reporting," said Saher.

Cutting greenhouse gas emissions has been a cornerstone pledge of the province as it battles critics both at home and abroad who accuse it and its energy industry of economic exploitation with little regard for the environment.

In 2008, the province set specific emission reduction targets for 2020 and 2050.

As part of the strategy, large polluters are required by law to reduce emissions intensity by 12 per cent and pay $15 per tonne for emissions that exceed that target.

But Saher said the strategy stalled out of the starting gate and stayed there for four years, with no monitoring publicly reported between 2008 and 2012.

In 2012, he said, when the government determined it would miss its 2020 targets, it drew up an implementation plan.

Saher said that while the plan set targets, it used flawed data and lacked the information needed to effectively monitor progress.

The plan was supposed to be reviewed last year, but that didn't happen.

In 2013, said Saher, the province set up a governance model for reviewing and revising its climate change strategy that includes working groups organized by key greenhouse-gas emitting sectors.

The group's work setting up timelines and targets is ongoing. …

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