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Federal emissions cap policies are a clear risk to the Canadian and Alberta economies and government finances

Lennie KaplanOver the past few months, I have written extensively on the need for the Alberta government to improve its climate change policy accountability framework.

My recommendation for an Alberta Climate Change Accountability Act extends to the mandatory public release of third-party analysis prepared for the government by contracted outside firms on the impact of climate change policies on the Canadian and Alberta economies.

ghg-emissions cap alberta deloitte

Photo by Jas Min

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KEEP AN EYE ON ALBERTA

I recently learned that Alberta Treasury Board and Finance (TB&F) entered into a $252,000 sole-source contract with Deloitte Canada in January 2024 to conduct an independent analysis of the proposed federal oil and gas emissions cap (OGEC) impact on the Canadian and Alberta economies.

Apparently, the Deloitte Canada report was completed and handed over to the Economics and Fiscal Policy Division of TB&F at the end of March 2024.

It is my understanding that the Deloitte Canada report has not yet been released publicly, but the results are directionally similar to an earlier Conference Board of Canada report released by the Alberta government at the end of January 2024.

TB&F evidently gave Deloitte Canada “broad latitude” to develop its own methodology to assess the potential impacts of the federal OGEC. The analysis was based on Deloitte Canada’s independent technical assessment of viable technologies (and ongoing efficiency gains) and the likelihood of CCS adoption, among other factors.

According to TB&F, Deloitte anticipated some production curtailment would be required to address a percentage of the emissions impacted by the OGEC, as the “current policy environment does not provide sufficient government incentives to entice CCS investment.”

The effects of federal climate change policies represent a clear risk to the Canadian and Alberta economies and government finances. Sharing this risk assessment publicly, including the Deloitte Canada report, is critical to Alberta’s response to intrusive federal climate change policies. Best practice would dictate increased openness and transparency by the Alberta government.

It is time for the Alberta government to release the Deloitte Canada report.

Lennie Kaplan spent over two decades in the public service of Alberta, including as a senior manager in the Economics and Fiscal Policy Division of the Ministry of Treasury Board and Finance, where he worked on cross-ministry initiatives evaluating the impacts of federal climate change policies. He retired from his position as Executive Director of Research at the Canadian Energy Centre in October 2023.

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