Green economy will create 145,000 Alberta jobs: Greenpeace report

The Athabasca River is seen from a helicopter in Fort McMurray, Alta., Tuesday, July 10, 2012.
The Athabasca River is seen from a helicopter in Fort McMurray, Alta., Tuesday, July 10, 2012. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

EDMONTON – A new report claims a green economy will create 145,000 jobs in Alberta.

The study was conducted by Greenpeace, the Alberta Green Economy Network and Gridworks Energy group.

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“The Alberta government can put people to work – not by subsidizing fossil fuels, but by capitalizing on the incredible potential the province has to create jobs in the green economy,” co-author Dave Thompson said.

The report was released on Earth Day, April 22.

The Alberta government has introduced a carbon tax, which will begin Jan. 1 and is the centrepiece of the government’s plan to reduce the province’s carbon footprint and give it more legitimacy as the province fights for energy infrastructure such as pipelines.

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The tax will increase prices at the gas pump and will be tacked on to home heating bills. Gasoline prices will go up by 4.5 cents a litre next year and 6.7 cents a litre in 2018.

There will be a sliding scale of rebates for lower- and middle-income families. Anyone making more than $51,250 a year will pay the full cost of the tax, but 60 per cent of households will get that back.

Greenpeace has been supportive of the government’s decision.

“For the first time, we have a provincial government that is starting to embrace the tremendous potential that renewables and energy efficiency can have in this province,” Mike Hudema said. “That’s benefits in diversifying our economy, that’s benefits in lowering energy costs, and that’s also benefits in creating jobs across the province.”

Greenpeace, Louis Bull First Nation and members of the renewable energy industry will discuss the report on Friday.