Alberta

Population:

4,413,146 (1)

  Last Updated:  

January 1, 2021

Current majority government:

Premier: Jason Kenney,  


Number of Members of Legislative Assembly in AB: 87 

  • United Conservative Party: 62

  • New Democratic Party: 24 

  • Independent: 1

Find your Member of the Legislative Assembly here: (2)

Environmental stance of majority party:

The United Conservative Party of Alberta is Committed to: 


Energy:

  • Facilitating market-oriented development of Alberta’s diverse, abundant, renewable and non-renewable energy resources as a key driver of economic prosperity ultimately benefiting all of Canada. 

  • Restoring the independence of our energy regulators from political interference. 

  • Strengthening and promoting Alberta’s global energy leadership in environment, health, safety, and social standards. 

  • Expanding national and international market access options and maximizing the value of Alberta resources. 

  • Facilitating private sector pipeline, energy corridor and infrastructure developments that maximize value and opportunities in the extraction, utilization and export of Alberta’s energy products. 

  • Improving application review and approval time frames within the Alberta Energy Regulator and other regulatory bodies in a manner that does not interfere with the decisions themselves. 


Environmental Stewardship: 

  • Developing environmental policy and legislation based on robust, scientific, evidence-based information, that safeguards the quality of our land, air, and water for the health, use and enjoyment of Albertans, for generations to come. 

  • Ensuring environmental decisions are in Alberta’s best interest; any interest group, lobbyist, or non-governmental organization who primarily receives foreign funding shall not be recognized as a legitimate stakeholder within the province of Alberta. (3)

Percentage of 2020/2021 budget estimated to be allocated to the environment:

$672,000,000 (0.01% of Total Government Expenses) (4)

Main provincial-level legislation for environment protection:

Environmental Protection and Enhancement Act: 

  • Broad act meant to regulate common waste products and pollutants. (5)


An Act to Repeal the Carbon Tax: 

  • Repealed the Environmental Leadership Act which imposed a Provincial carbon tax on carbon emissions in Alberta. (6)

Specific government-based environmental programs:

Carbon Competitiveness Incentive Regulation (7)

  • Sets benchmarks on carbon emissions for carbon emitting industries to follow. 


Capping Oil Sands Emissions (8)

  • Based on two major goals: “An oil sands specific output-based allocation approach,” and “A legislated emissions limit on the oil sands.” 


Renewable Fuels Standard (9)

  • Requires commercial fuel producers and importers to blend renewable products into their fuels.


 Specified Gas Reporting Regulation (10)

  • Requires facilities which emit large amounts of GHGs to report their emissions to the Government. 


Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) System (11)

  • Helps industrial facilities innovate and invest in renewable technology.

Next election date:

On or before May 31, 2023. (13)

Extra information:

Ministry of Environment and Parks (14) 

  • Responsible for protecting the environment as well as managing provincial parks. As of April 2020, the Minister responsible is Jason Nixon.

What makes this province different?

Alberta relies on non-renewable resources more than any other province. Oil and natural gas development makes up almost 17% of the province’s GDP (15), and nearly 30% of Alberta’s economic activity is indirectly dependent on these non-renewable resources (16). As well, the Government of Alberta depends on royalties from non-renewable resources for over 10% of its annual budget (17). Alberta is often on the forefront of advocating for the expansion of oil and natural gas, including being the primary supporter of the Trans-Mountain Expansion and the Teck Frontier Project and the primary opponent of measures such as a Federal Carbon Tax.

  Quick facts:  

Alberta is set to phase out coal-fired electricity generation by 2030 (18) and to reduce methane emissions by 45% by 2025. (19)


Rising temperatures and shorter winters increase the range of the mountain pine beetle. This invasive species kills pine trees, with the effect of both decreased carbon storage in forests and increased emissions from decaying trees. (20) 


The 2016 Fort McMurray wildfires and the 2013 south Alberta floods are the two most costly disasters in Canadan history. The value of total financial losses due to extreme weather events in Alberta rose significantly above $100 million a year in 2009. (21)


Climate change in Alberta increases likelihood of multi-year droughts, and more frequent or intense flooding. (22)