Alberta Premier Danielle Smith and Environment Minister Rebecca Schulz issued a joint statement calling for the prime minister to immediately replace Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault.
The joint statement was issued by Smith and Schulz after attending COP28 in response to the federal government’s approach to climate change policy at the conference.
The Alberta leaders expressed optimism about the success of Alberta and Saskatchewan, along with other nations and subnational governments, for pushing back against the voices of those obsessed with accelerating the phase-out of sustainable and affordable energy derived from oil and natural gas at the UN summit.
“We were gravely disappointed to see federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault and other radical activists continue to push an approach that would consign the world to energy poverty and economic stagnation by focusing only on ending all fossil fuel use,” read the statement.
Smith and Schulz praised the growing alliance of thoughtful world leaders that defeated that extreme position. These leaders understand that economies can be grown, natural resources developed, and food and energy security ensured while simultaneously reducing emissions through technology and collaboration.
“It was a national embarrassment to witness Minister Guilbeault at an international conference actively sabotaging the interests of Albertans and other Canadians by releasing a series of incoherent and illegal policy pronouncements that he and his government have absolutely no legal authority to impose upon the provinces of Canada,” said Smith and Schulz.
While Guilbeault ultimately failed to implement language in the final COP28 agreement discussing the elimination of oil and gas production, Smith and Schulz said that Albertans will not forget his continued treachery against Alberta and millions of other Canadians.
“We once again call on the prime minister to replace this minister immediately, as he continues to damage Canada’s international reputation and sell out the interests and livelihoods of millions of Canadians with his misguided personal obsessions,” said Smith and Schulz.
In contrast to the federal government’s approach, Alberta emphasized its commitment to a pragmatic strategy that balances environmental and economic interests.
“Alberta will continue to further develop and implement our Emissions Reduction and Energy Development Plan as we demonstrate to the world how an energy-producing jurisdiction can simultaneously increase renewable and non-renewable energy production while achieving carbon neutrality through investments in new technologies,” the statement outlined.
True North previously reported that the COP28 climate summit concluded with an agreement among nearly 200 countries to transition away from fossil fuels. However, the agreement, while promoting a shift from oil, gas, and coal, avoided explicitly recommending a phase-out. The agreement called for “transitioning away from fossil fuels in a just, orderly and equitable manner.”
COP28 president Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, commented on the agreement, saying, “Together, we have confronted realities, and we have set the world in the right direction.” The agreement aims for net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 and a substantial reduction in non-carbon-dioxide emissions, particularly methane, by 2030.
Alberta’s plan aims for the province to achieve a carbon-neutral economy by 2050 without compromising affordable, reliable, and secure energy for Albertans and Canadians.
“This is the Alberta Way. We once again invite Ottawa to align with Alberta’s approach rather than continue to act in violation of the Constitution and stand in the way of real environmental and economic progress,” concluded the joint statement.