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Alberta Environment Minister Rob Renner says the province has the regulatory experience and technology to be a leader for Canada's climate-change delegation in Copenhagen. ((CBC))

Alberta's delegation to the UN conference on climate change in Copenhagen would welcome "an ambitious agreement" to reduce greenhouse gases, provincial Environment Minister Rob Renner said Tuesday.

"It's half-measures that concern us," Renner said. "Kyoto was a half-measure agreement. The leaders of the time didn't address tough energy and competitive issues."  

Renner criticized the Kyoto Protocol for not including China. He said any new deal must be "comprehensive, fair and transparent."

Alberta's experience with regulating carbon emitters and technology to capture and store carbon dioxide is unique in the Canadian delegation, Renner said.

He added that he doesn't want to see the oilsands singled out in any new targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Challenge and opportunity

The meeting in Copenhagen represents more than an economic and environmental challenge for Alberta, said David Swann, leader of Alberta's Liberal Party.

"I'm very concerned that we don't miss this opportunity, as one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases on the planet, to look at both the investments that it's going to mean for us and in the opportunities for a real greening of our economy, a greening of our energy sector," he said.

Meanwhile, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers is urging Canadian delegates in Copenhagen to push for a balanced policy.

"Certainly, we need to ensure that greenhouse gas emissions are addressed," said David Collyer, president of the association. "But also [we] need to ensure that we do that in a way that recognizes the very important role that oil and gas plays in the national economy."