Global Cooperation Needed to Combat Climate Change, Speakers Say

Climate change is a global problem in need of global solutions, said Cal Dallas, minister of international and intergovernmental relations for the government of Alberta.

“There’s not a person in this room who needs to be convinced that we must continue to develop better policies to balance economic growth with protection of the environment,” Dallas said Sunday at the CSG West Canada Relations Committee. “We are all citizens of the world. We have an obligation to move toward a lower carbon future.”

Dallas said Alberta was the first jurisdiction in North America to pass legislation implementing greenhouse gas emission targets for large industries. Starting in 2007, all industrial emitters that release more than 100 tons of greenhouse gases per year are charged $15 per ton. That money goes into a clean technology fund that awards grants for research on carbon reduction technology. Dallas said about $400 million has been invested so far in 89 clean energy projects.

“There’s no silver bullet in this highly complex challenge of minimizing our carbon footprint,” he said. “As you can see, Alberta is committed to a clean energy future.”

Alain Houde, Québec’s delegate to Los Angeles, said his province also is concerned about global warming. In 2009, Houde said, Québec’s policymakers implemented a cap and trade system for greenhouse gases. In January 2014, Québec’s system was linked to California’s cap and trade system, making it the first cross-border carbon market in North America.

Houde said a new milestone will be reached in November, when the first U.S.-Canada joint auction for carbon credits will be held. Such cooperation, he said, is key to making a difference in the environment.

“Québec is convinced that only by working together will the international community be able to make a difference,” Houde said. “We’ll continue to build alliances with governments working against climate change.”