Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Shell Canada, Capital Power Welcome Alberta's Stronger Carbon Emissions Rules

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Shell Canada, Capital Power Welcome Alberta's Stronger Carbon Emissions Rules

Article excerpt

Emitters welcome Alberta climate change rules

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CALGARY - At least two big carbon emitters have given the thumbs-up to Alberta's plan to strengthen its greenhouse gas rules over the next 18 months.

Capital Power (TSX:CPX) CEO Brian Vaasjo cheered the changes at a news conference alongside Environment Minister Shannon Phillips on Thursday, saying more green energy investment is likely to result.

"Not only is it the right thing to do, it's the right time to do it," said Vaasjo, whose Edmonton-based company generates power from coal, natural gas and renewables.

The basic structure of the Specified Gas Emitters Regulation is staying intact for now, but the reduction targets and carbon price are being hiked starting next year.

The 103 facilities that emit more than 100,000 tonnes of CO2 a year must now aim to reduce their carbon intensity by 20 per cent in 2017, versus 12 per cent currently. Emitters have the option of improving their facilities, buying Alberta-based offsets or paying into a technology fund.

For emissions that go above that threshold, the price of carbon is doubling to $30 a tonne in 2017. When a facility's total carbon emissions are taken into account, the new carbon price works out to about $6 a tonne, more than triple the current level.

University of Alberta economist Andrew Leach will lead a panel on the province's broader energy policy, with the goal of having a report in time for the climate talks in Paris in December. That will be held in tandem with an oil and gas royalty review to be announced shortly, said Phillips.

The president of Shell Canada, a major oilsands miner, said the government's announcement "is a clear signal that Alberta is committed to doing its part to address climate change."

"At Shell Canada, we recognize that economic growth demands environmental leadership more than ever before," said Lorraine Mitchelmore. …

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