Alberta Federation Of Labor And Deep Decarbonization – Conflict or Harmony?

Can Canada continue to grow employment in oil and gas and at the same time develop employment opportunities in technologically innovative clean energy sectors?

While federal performance standards are yielding a decline in vehicle emissions and the electricity generation sector is producing the largest reduction in CHG’s due to government clean air measures, Environment Canada’s 2013 publication, Canada’s Emission Trends, forecast Oil and Gas to be the largest contributor to CHG emissions by 2020 with a 23% increase. This will basically replace the the reduced 38 Mt of carbon emissions from electricity generation that government measures have produced.

“The electricity generating sector is the largest contributor to total emissions reductions, largely due to the combined impact of various government measures to create a cleaner electricity system, predominately by replacing coal fired generation with natural gas and hydro capacity. Electricity emissions are projected to decline by 38 Mt (31%) between 2005 and 2020. In contrast, increased production in Canada’s oil sands is expected to drive a rise in emissions from the oil and gas sector of 38 Mt (23%) between 2005 and 2020”.

In a recent Tyee interview the President of the Alberta Federation of Labour (AFL), Gil McGowan talked about how a  more regulated pace of development would be good for workers and the environment. “It certainly wouldn’t kill the industry”.

Can Canada better balance Tar Sends development and carbon emissions from transportation and electricity generation to still reduce our total emissions? Check out the Deep Decarbonization Pathways Project to hear from another source about the innovative transformation Canada can make towards “deep decarbonization”.

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