June 25, 2015 12:57 pm
Updated: June 25, 2015 9:14 pm

Alberta government is increasing CO2 reduction targets

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WATCH ABOVE: The NDP government is taking what it calls the first steps towards meaningful climate change action. Fletcher Kent has the details.

EDMONTON — The Alberta government is tweaking its greenhouse gas reduction rules. Large businesses will be forced to reduce the intensity of their CO2 emissions by 20 per cent by 2017.

That means they’ll have to cut the amount of gas they release in relation to the amount of product they create by one fifth.

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They’ll also have to pay $30 for every tonne of CO2 they release that’s over that level. Those are significant increases over current levels and penalties.

Alberta’s overall emissions are still forecast to rise over the next two years.

READ MORE: Shell Canada boss welcomes Alberta’s increased CO2 reduction targets

In addition, Dr. Andrew Leach, Associate Professor and Academic Director of Energy Programs at the University of Alberta School of Business, will chair an advisory panel to review the province’s climate change policy, consult stakeholders, and provide advice on a permanent set of measures.

“Today we are taking two very meaningful steps toward crafting a solution to deal with climate change,” said Environment Minister Shannon Phillips.

“For years, the previous government failed to develop a meaningful strategy to deal with the important issue of climate change and we are going to do things differently.

“Conversations with industry and climate change experts are already underway, and I look forward to engaging with Albertans as we work together with the intention of creating an effective climate change action plan that helps us achieve real, demonstrable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.”

The consultation period will take three months. The panel will report back to the government in the fall.

With files from Global News

© 2015 The Canadian Press

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