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Alberta limits Oil-Sands Emissions to curb pollution

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November 25
8:50 AM 2015

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley said Sunday that the New Democratic Party will limit oil-sands emissions, discontinue coal power plants, and create an economy-wide carbon price as part of a strategy to reduce pollution in Canada's most polluting province.

Bloomberg reported that there will be a 100-megaton-a-year cap on the oil-sands industry on its carbon emissions. Currently, the annual emissions are 70 megatons. Alberta will also phase out coal power plants in the province by 2030. The economy-wide carbon price will be at C$20, or $15, per metric ton by 2017. It will increase to C$30 by 2018.

"This is the day we stop denying there is an issue and this is the day when we start doing our part," said Notley in a report by the National Observer. "Climate change is real, it is caused by human activity."

Notley described her province as the front liner in the fight against climate change. She said that any non-believers could have a look at the glaciers in the Columbia Icefields, which are constantly receding due to the warm atmosphere.

The Star wrote that this news is a boost for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who is going to attend the International Climate summit next week in Paris. NDP's strategy to curb pollution also includes slashing methane emissions by about 45 percent by 2025. This new strategy is expected to decrease Alberta's greenhouse emissions, which are Canada's highest. Notley aims to make Alberta the "world's most progressive and forward-looking energy producers."

Notley said Alberta must be the leader in climate-change policy to help the oil-sands industry, which has a bad reputation for having a big impact on the environment. In 2007, the province implemented a carbon levy on big emitters, making the oil-exporting Canadian region to be the first in the developed world to do so. However, the policy has failed to have a significant effect on reducing emissions growth.

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