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Alberta climate change non-profit takes new name, earmarks $40M to cut GHGs

The new logo for Emissions Reduction Alberta is shown.
The new logo for Emissions Reduction Alberta is shown. CREDIT: www.eralberta.ca

A government-funded and industry-supported climate change non-profit – created in 2009 – announced Friday it planned to spend millions of dollars more to advance technologies aimed at reducing methane emissions across the province.

The Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation is now called Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) and said the increased spending is aimed at supporting the Notley government’s commitment to reduce methane emissions by 45 per cent before 2025 under its Climate Leadership Plan.

READ MORE: Energy industry can cut methane emissions 45% with available technology: report

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In a statement, Environment Minister Shannon Phillips expressed her support for the non-profit putting more money into green technology advancements.

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“Innovation is vital to the global issue of climate change,” Phillips said. “By developing the next generation of innovative and clean technology, we build a sustainable and diversified economy that attracts investment, creates jobs, expands market access and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.”

The ERA said the money will target medium- and long-term opportunities to slash methane emissions in the oil and gas industries as well as the agriculture and landfill sectors.

It says methane is a greenhouse gas with a global warming potential “more than 25 times that of carbon dioxide.”

READ MORE: Canada, U.S. agree to cut methane emissions as Trudeau set to meet Obama

The announcement was met with support from several key stakeholders in the oil and gas industry.

“Today’s announcement reiterates the shared commitment by government and industry to decrease GHG emissions through innovation and the consistent development and application of technology,” Tim McMillan, president and CEO of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, said in a statement.

“The world will benefit from clean Canadian oil and natural gas.”

“By strategically investing in the development of cutting-edge technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, together we have the opportunity to demonstrate global leadership towards a low carbon future,” Judy Fairburn, executive vice president of business innovation at Cenovus Energy, said in a statement.

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Cutting methane emissions is just one pillar of the Notley government’s climate plan.

Among other steps being taken to address the issue, the NDP government unveiled its carbon pricing plan earlier this year. However, the Alberta government has not seen eye to eye with the Trudeau government on its federal carbon tax plan. Earlier this week, Phillips suggested her government would talk to Ottawa about a federal price on carbon of up to $50 a tonne if the Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion is approved.

READ MORE: Alberta names its price for a federal tax on carbon: Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

Since the Notley government first released details of its climate plan late last year, oil and gas industry stakeholders have expressed a willingness to work with the government to follow through on its plan.

In November, Canadian Natural Resources Limited, Cenovus Energy Inc., Shell Canada Limited and Suncor Energy Inc. issued a joint statement endorsing the government’s climate change plan, saying the measures “provide predictability and certainty.”