The following statement has been issued by Alberta Federation of Labour president, Gil McGowan, in response to Teck’s decision to withdraw their application for Frontier Mine.
EDMONTON - The letter from Teck’s CEO, Don Lindsay, explaining why his company withdrew its application for the Frontier mine should be seen as a wake-up call for Alberta.
In the letter, Lindsay says Teck couldn’t get the necessary financing for the project because “global capital markets are changing rapidly and investors and customers are increasingly looking for jurisdictions to have a framework in place that reconciles resources development and climate change…this does not yet exist here (in Alberta and Canada).”
This is very significant. Lindsay is saying that there has been a sea change in the global investment community: they are increasingly unlikely to support projects that are not consistent with the climate goals set out in the Paris Accord.
What this means for Alberta is that the future of our oil and gas sector depends on us taking climate change much more seriously and putting much more rigorous policies in place to reduce emissions.
By scuttling the previous government’s climate leadership plan and railing against the federal government’s carbon pricing regime, the Kenney government is doing more to hurt our oil and gas sector than help it.
To put it another way, in light of Lindsay’s letter, it’s clear that the Kenney government’s climate belligerence is doing more to drive away investment and kill jobs than anything that’s been done by environmentalists or Indigenous protesters.
The bottom line is that taking climate change seriously is no longer an environmental imperative; it’s now an economic imperative for our province, as well. It’s the only way to ensure that our oil and gas industry can survive as the unfolding global energy transition moves forward. As a province, it’s time for us to stop pretending that we can stop the tide of history and, instead, focus on how we can adapt to change and find opportunity in the new reality.
President, Alberta Federation of Labour
February 23, 2020