The Alberta government is in consultations with large emitters, including oil and gas, to come up with a plan to replace the former NDP government’s Carbon Competitiveness Incentive Program.
By Jan. 1, 2020, the Kenney government says under its proposed Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) plan, large emitters that produce more than the allowable limit of carbon dioxide will be required to pay into a clean technology fund or purchase offset credits.
According to a press release, the UCP government says Environment and Parks Minister Jason Nixon, Energy Minister Sonya Savage and Agriculture and Forestry Minister Devin Dreeshen are meeting with about 150 stakeholders to discuss the program design for TIER.
Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks says “TIER is a realistic and effective approach to addressing climate change that will reduce emissions and reassure investors.”
Nixon added “This system is the centrepiece of our government’s new provincial climate strategy, to be released this fall, which will focus on innovative and practical solutions.”
Under the TIER plan, facilities that emit over 100,000 tonnes of CO2 will have to cut their emissions intensity by 10 per cent compared to their average emissions between 2016 to 2018.
Companies can cut their emissions, use credits, or use emission offsets from organizations not regulated by TIER, but have voluntarily cut their emissions to meet the objectives of the plan.
Large emitters may also pay into the TIER fund which the UCP government says will be used for new and cleaner Alberta-based technologies that cut emissions, including carbon capture, utilization and storage and improved oil sands extraction technology.
“Innovation and performance improvements are happening across Alberta’s industrial sectors,” said Sonya Savage, Minister of Energy. “The proposed TIER system will recognize and accelerate this innovation, supporting investment and jobs.”
TIER will also require electricity facilities to meet a good-as-best-gas standard, where their emissions are equal to the cleanest natural gas-fired generation plant.
Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry says TIER will help farmers, ranchers and foresters “stay competitive with cutting-edge new technologies.”
Stakeholder engagement, including workshops, webinars and one-on-one meetings, will continue through July.
Bob Masterson, president and CEO of the Chemistry Industry of Canada says his organization is looking forward to working with the government on a carbon pricing framework.
“Alberta’s chemistry industry is on a growth trajectory that could see $25 billion in new investments in addition to the over $12 billion already committed,” said Masterson. “While these investments leverage Alberta’s abundant, low-carbon feedstock, they are also critical in Alberta’s and Canada’s transition to a low-carbon future.”
Tim McMillan, president and CEO of CAPP says the Alberta oil and natural gas industry depends on having a reliable and effective regulatory system. “We are pleased the government is updating Alberta’s approach to industrial emitters to ensure emissions are reduced in an efficient manner that fosters both innovation and competitiveness.”