Al Duerr: It's important Alberta tells its personal story at COP28

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I’m scripting this from COP28, which I’m attending as a part of the Alberta and Canadian delegation. Watching a number of the media messaging again house, I felt the necessity to handle why Alberta has such a big delegation attending COP28 led by Premier Smith and Atmosphere Minister Rebecca Schulz. The delegation contains key authorities representatives together with tutorial, business, agricultural, Indigenous and NGO stakeholders.

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Whereas the Alberta delegation just isn’t a part of the COP28 negotiations, everybody right here noticed worth in contributing their time and sources to signify all that Alberta and Canada can supply the world. With an estimated 97,000 individuals attending this COP, we weren’t alone in recognizing the worth of collaborating.

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Whereas I perceive why some could query the worth of our attendance, I need to shed some gentle on why it’s critically essential that Alberta voices from all sectors be heard at worldwide conferences like COP28.

Sadly, the unhappy fact is that we can’t depend on others to inform our story. Whereas Canada earned a popularity within the second half of the twentieth century that far outweighed our measurement as a rustic, that’s not the case.

Canada’s relevance has slowly decayed from many years of underfunding Canada’s diplomatic and commerce commissioner service. Politicians of each stripe have been afraid of the optics of spending cash in defending our pursuits or selling our industries; or, they simply didn’t perceive the significance of being in entrance of worldwide resolution makers and actively supporting Canadian pursuits in key worldwide markets.

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Provincial governments adopted go well with. The just-released senate assessment of our diplomatic corps and our commerce commissioner companies underscores this, highlighting continual underfunding and lack of political management in supporting Canadian pursuits overseas, as a result of the optics of spending cash overseas didn’t match with our growing populist rhetoric.

Previous to my time in native authorities, I used to be energetic in taking Alberta environmental applied sciences in water and wastewater therapy into worldwide markets, primarily in growing nations.

After returning to the personal sector, I’ve been energetic in taking Alberta-developed environmental applied sciences — now in modern vitality effectivity and methane emissions discount applied sciences, and companies developed in Alberta — into worldwide markets. I can say with absolute confidence that we’ve in Alberta corporations incubated within the province’s vitality sector which have global-leading applied sciences that the world wants.

This incubation of superior environmental applied sciences was enabled by the early and continued management by successive Alberta governments by way of main coverage, regulation, and program supply.

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For example this level, I attended the most important vitality convention within the Center East two months in the past, and took part in a personal, invitation-only CEO roundtable specializing in methane emission discount. Across the desk we had representatives of worldwide environmental and business associations, a number of the largest engineering and repair corporations on the planet, and main oil and fuel producers.

I overviewed Alberta’s historical past, together with a number of the first flaring laws on the planet, the primary carbon market in North America primarily based on a big emitters tax, and targeted authorities applications delivering actual verifiable carbon reductions.

Once I completed, I stated that I believed that Alberta in all probability had one of many strongest methane emission observe information on the planet, however as Canadian, I requested to be corrected if others felt I overstated my case. Everybody agreed that I used to be appropriate.

Extra importantly, simply yesterday I used to be instructed by a roundtable participant, who’s the methane sector director of a really giant worldwide consulting group, that she now makes use of the Alberta instance to display how actual motion on methane emissions discount is feasible.

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Collaborating in that roundtable — and highlighting Alberta’s observe file of motion over ambition on this essential environmental space — had an influence far past the group I spoke to. Now Alberta is getting used by way of a world community for instance of management on methane emissions discount.

Whereas in Canada some would have us consider that Alberta is an environmental laggard, nothing may very well be farther from the reality.

We as Albertans have to be those to achieve out to inform our story to worldwide audiences if we need to make an actual distinction on the environmental entrance.

Realizing the political danger that they took, I commend Premier Smith and Minister Schulz for main an impressive and various Alberta delegation. Our voices and essential messages have been amplified many occasions over by their participation and arduous work in usually difficult circumstances. I used to be proud to be a small a part of the excellent Staff Alberta delegation they led.

Al Duerr served as Calgary’s mayor for 12 years from 1989 to 2001, and has been the CEO of Basic Magnetic Canada Inc., an vitality clear tech firm, since 2008. He’s additionally a companion in Carbon Join Worldwide Inc.

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