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Alberta to send delegation to COP27, distrusts Ottawa to represent energy sector


The Alberta government is sending a five-member delegation to an upcoming global climate summit in Egypt, after deciding to skip last year's conference.

The province declined to participate in last year's Conference of the Parties (COP27) in Scotland under former premier Jason Kenney.

Ministers in Premier Danielle Smith's government say it was the wrong choice.

"I think that was a mistake in the past to not be there at a ministerial level. What that has done in the past, unfortunately, is allowed the federal government to frame the narrative to set targets and dates that we can't actually achieve," said Sonya Savage, who served as energy minister in Kenney's cabinet, but has transitioned to minister of the environment and protected areas under Smith.

Savage will lead the delegation for the COP27 conference in Egypt in November.

"I think we need to be there at the table, to make the sure that the federal government isn't on the world stage, promising to phase out or cut oil and gas production, making promises that they can't achieve," she said.


Her comments echo statements made by Smith on Monday.

"This is the reason why we are sending our own delegation is I don't believe that we're being properly represented by Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault. He clearly is hostile to our oil and gas sector, he's clearly trying to step into areas he's got no business regulating, " said Smith.

A spokesperson in the office of the federal minister of the environment and climate change told CTV News "it is unfortunate when politicians seem more interested in picking a fight than getting on with the job."

The emailed statement continued, "the Canadian delegation to COP27 – as always – will include representatives from many provinces and territories and Canadian companies. They are welcome to attend."

It later added, "the bottom line is Albertans and workers in the energy sector stand to make big gains by building on the province's reputation as a center of innovation. Calgary and Edmonton are already among the world's top clean-tech ecosystems, with Alberta attracting the most clean tech investments of any province in Canada."

Savage said the Alberta delegation to COP27 is "not there to pick a fight."

"The constitution says what the provincial authority is (over energy resources) and if we'll get along just fine if Ottawa stays in its own lane and respects the constitution."


Kathleen Ganley, Alberta NDP energy critic, told CTV News COP27 is an important gathering for decision makers.

"Alberta must send a delegation tasked with advancing our province’s interests on the world stage, not just political posturing to appease the UCP leader’s base."

She added, “Alberta has the opportunity to attract investment that will create good paying jobs and build a resilient economy into the future by being leaders in the energy transformation."

Industry representatives are also planning to travel to Egypt.

The Pathways Alliance, a collective of six major energy producers with a target to achieve net-zero by 2050, is hosting an event and panel presentation in the Canada Pavillion.

"This year especially has exposed the essential and growing need for secure and affordable supplies of oil and gas from peaceful, stable and responsible countries, such as Canada, while also meeting our climate commitments," said Kendall Dilling, Pathways Alliance president.

The statement continued, "the federal and provincial governments have a great story to tell about the commitment of our industry to be a preferred supplier of energy in a net-zero world."

The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP) is attending COP27 "to engage in the global conversation on the energy transition including Canada's role in the world's energy mix as a producer of safe, secure and responsibly developed oil and natural gas."


An energy transition analyst from the University of Calgary says its important for Alberta to clarify that it has attainable and measurable emissions reductions targets, especially at a global climate conference.

Sara Hastings-Simon said what has been announced from the provincial government thus far is insufficient to support and energy transition.

"We don't have a holistic climate plan in the province, we don't have emission reduction targets as a province, so there's a lot of work to be done to get there."

She says that "sub-national" attendees to the summit are better positioned when having a clear plan.

The conference begins in Sharm El Sheikh on Nov. 6. Top Stories

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