The Wildrose is declaring a second ad campaign — worth $4.5 million — to sell the merits of the government's climate change plan "a total waste of money."

"This is completely unacceptable," said environment critic Todd Loewen in a news release Wednesday.

"I don't know anyone in my riding or across Alberta who asked for a carbon tax and they certainly didn't ask for millions of their dollars to be spent to promote it," he said.

"This is absolutely shameful."

Last summer the province spent $4.4 million to promote the province's climate change plan, running ads on TV and radio and in theatres, newpapers and mailouts.

Premier Rachel Notley defended the second campaign Wednesday.

"The climate change plan is probably one of the most ambitious public policy initiatives in the history of the province easily in a decade," she told reporters.

"We are making profound generational change in the province."

Some Albertans will be receiving rebate cheques in the mail in January and it's important they know what the program is about, she said.

The carbon tax comes into effect Jan. 1 and will be paid by Albertans through home heating bills and at the gas pumps. Lower-income Albertans will receive rebates.

Albertans also need to understand how the climate plan ties in to the province's economic goals and "efforts to getting access to tidewater," Notley said.