Alberta climate change plan strongly criticised

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Environmental groups and opposition parties have panned a climate change plan released by the Alberta government promising increased investment in clean energy technologies and incentives for expanding the use of renewables. Alberta produces close to one-third of Canada's emissions. Dan Woynillowicz of the Pembina Institute, a respected environmental think tank, called the plan "shockingly irresponsible" and accused Premier Ed Stelmach of dodging responsibility for dealing with the issue. "It continues to delay action and promises only a plan to plan," he says. The government plan will allow greenhouse gas emissions to continue to rise until about 2020 before gradual reduction that will cut them by 200 mega-tonnes by 2050, equivalent to 50% below business-as-usual projections and 14% below 2005 levels. Increasing the use of clean energy resources is expected to account for 18% of the reductions, with energy efficiency initiatives responsible for another 12%. The province is counting on carbon capture and storage to make up the remaining 70% of reductions. A detailed implementation plan will be released this spring, the government says.

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