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COP21 hearing Alberta's voice half the battle, says Former PC MLA

The voices of Alberta citizens, energy companies and government need to he heard at the Paris climate conference currently underway says Donna Kennedy-Glans, the head of a citizen's group at the conference.

Lawyer and former oil executive says we need to be part of the climate change conversation

Donna Kennedy-Glans took the voices of some Albertans to the Paris climate conference. (Submitted by Donna Kennedy-Glans)

The voices of Alberta citizens, energy companies and government need to he heard at the Paris climate conference currently underway, says Donna Kennedy-Glans — a former MLA that heads a citizen's group attending the conference.

"There are some people driving climate change within the province and many people are accepting that change is inevitable," Kennedy-Glans told Alberta@Noon Thursday in a phone interview.

Donna Kennedy-Glans spoke to Alberta@Noon from the Paris climate conference on the importance of having Alberta's point of view at the table. (Bill Graveland/Canadian Press)

"They may not be driving it but they know it is happening and we have to be part of the response."

Kennedy-Glans is a lawyer, former oil industry executive and past associate minister of electricity and renewable energy in the Progressive Conservative government.

She started a group called Viewpoints Alberta to collect feedback on energy development to take to Paris. Promoting the steps Alberta is taking to manage emissions in a positive light is half the battle, she says.

"I think in the past we have a bit of a black eye and it's been easy to demonize because we haven't been participating," Kennedy-Glans said. "It's harder to demonize somebody when they are standing right in front of you, that is just human nature."

Premier Rachel Notley has said she wants to show the world it's dealing with a new Alberta

"I think it's just very, very important for people to see that they're dealing with a different thing now in Alberta, and hopefully they'll view our efforts to engage in international trade more positively as a result," she said Saturday.

The climate talks will ramp up next week as environment ministers from 190 countries return for the final few days of negotiations.

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