Alberta's environment minister told an oil and gas conference on Monday night that she hopes the government's broad-based carbon tax won't have to be collected forever.

Shannon Phillips Pembina

Alberta Environment Minister Shannon Phillips spoke at the Conference Board of Canada summit on Monday outlining her government's climate change strategy. (Terry Reith/CBC)

Shannon Phillips used an 18-minute speech to the Conference Board of Canada's oil and gas summit to reassure the industry that Alberta's NDP government is aware of challenges faced by the energy sector as a result of nose-diving oil prices.

She outlined Alberta's climate change strategy, which will include a carbon tax, a cap on oilsands emissions and phasing out coal-fired electricity plants.

But Phillips said the government's goal is not to collect the carbon price forever, and if the strategy is successful, revenue would begin to decline in the future.

She also expressed sympathy for businesses and workers who are suffering in the current economic downturn.

Phillips said Alberta can't control the price of oil, but the government will try and steer the province in the right direction for a future recovery.