Rachel Notley will sell a 'different' Alberta at climate change talks

Premier Rachel Notley says she's heading to climate change talks in Paris to show the world they're dealing with a new Alberta.

Premier hopes to pitch to investors and explain her carbon reduction plan

Premier Rachel Notley says Alberta has a new story to tell at the climate change meetings in Paris. (Marta Iwanek/Canadian Press)

This article is part of a package of special coverage of climate change issues by CBC News leading up to the United Nations climate change conference (COP21) being held in Paris from Nov. 30 to Dec. 11.

Premier Rachel Notley says she's heading to climate change talks in Paris 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.

One focus at the conference will be selling Alberta's new climate change plan in meetings with stakeholders and governments, focusing on buy-in from the oil and gas sector and environmental groups. 

She says the approach "shows that we have very significant plans in place that will bend the curve of our emissions in ways that no one ever expected to see coming out of Alberta." Notley became premier in May after her New Democratic Party routed the long-governing Progressive Conservatives.

Part of Alberta`s pitch is seeking new international partnerships and attempting to turn environmental regulations into investor dollars. 

"Every chance I get, whether it's in a conversation, at an event or in a meeting that I'm participating in, I'm going to be underlining our government's commitment to transition to a lower-carbon future while building a strong, progressive energy economy that Albertans and investors can count on," she said.

Bar for success is low

The bar for success at the meetings, Notley said, is pretty low.

"Coming from where we were before, in terms of being a somewhat reluctant participant in this process, I think our renewed commitment to taking real action will in and of itself be a real success for us," she said.

"But there's no question it's going to be about what agreements are made worldwide, and we'll see."

As a provincial government, Alberta is not a full party at the Paris talks, but Notley says it's important to be there to support the federal government. There's also a portion of the conference set aside for regional governments like hers.

The Alberta contingent has bought carbon offsets for the trip, but there are no details yet on the cost. Notley says her government will be "engaging in this as a best practice going forward."


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