On February 2, 2016, Alberta Premier Rachel Notley announced the creation of the Alberta Climate Change Office. The announcement came as part of a larger announcement on expansions to the Notley cabinet, which was increased to 19.
According to the Notley government, the Climate Change Office will “ensure effective coordination of all aspects of implementation” of the Climate Leadership Plan, announced in November 2015. A detailed discussion regarding the Plan can be found in our previous blog post, found here.
The Climate Change Office will report to the Minister of Environment and Parks, Shannon Phillips. Further information about the Minister can be found in BLG’s previous blog post found here.
Few further details with respect to how the Office will function were announced, and it is not yet clear how the Office will fit into Notley’s budget, discussed in our previous blog post found here. It has been reported that while no additional funding is immediately being allocated to the Office, Minister Phillips has stated that it could see targeted dollars when the carbon tax comes into effect in 2017.
The Climate Change Office will have a large mandate to fulfill in implementing ambitious aspects of the Climate Leadership Plan, including the phase out of coal-fired generation by 2030 and its replacement with natural gas-fired generation and renewables, changes to carbon pricing, capping of oil sands carbon emissions and the reduction of methane emissions. BLG intends to continue monitoring the implementation of the Climate Leadership Plan and will report on new developments as they arise.