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Alberta invests $131M into new emission reduction projects

Last Updated Nov 18, 2021 at 4:28 pm MST

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney gives a COVID-19 update in Edmonton, Tuesday, Sept. 21, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

The Government of Alberta says it’ll invest $131 million from its Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction (TIER) fund into seven new emission reduction projects.

“I am really happy to announce that up to $131-million-dollars from the TIER fund will be used to support industrial energy efficiency and CCUS [Carbon Capture and Utilization Storage] projects across the province,” Premier Jason Kenney said at a press conference on Thursday.

“These investments will help create jobs, spur economic growth, and continue the hard work that we are doing to protect our environment as a responsible and sustainable energy leader.”

CCUS facilities can capture up to 90 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions from industrial facilities, preventing them from entering the atmosphere, and either re-uses them or store them permanently.

Several energy companies will lead the various projects, which will include a CCUS facility, installing heat-recovery tech in mines, and a blue hydrogen plant.

“The seven successful projects we have selected so far are game-changers for cutting emissions in Alberta,” Kenney added.

“They are incredible initiatives based on home-grown Alberta ingenuity and leading-edge technology.”

The province says the projects will create around 2,200 jobs across Alberta and cut 2.9m tonnes of emissions between now and the year 2030.

Industries can pay into a TIER fund as a compliance option under regulations. TIER is Alberta’s industrial greenhouse gas emissions pricing and emissions trading system.

“One of the main ways that we’re supporting these types of investments is through the TIER fund,” Kenney said.

“Last year, we announced up to 750-million-dollars from the TIER fund for programs that cut emissions, keep industry competitive, and create jobs.”

The province invested $750m from its TIER fund in Sept. 2020.

It says those investments were supplemented with money from industry for a total injection of $1.9 billion into Alberta’s economy.

The provincial portion of that investment was expected to have created 3,400 jobs and further lower emissions.

Alberta NDP Environment Critic Marlin Schmidt says the funding is a small investment that will be required to reach the province’s climate goals.

He says if Alberta wants to achieve net-zero by 2050, and a net-zero grid by 2035, it needs to receive more support from the government, along with an ability to attract investment in emissions reduction technology.

“Unfortunately, the UCP still hasn’t committed to achieving net-zero while they continue to fund their embarrassing War Room, members of their caucus openly deny the science of climate change, and the premier calls environmental, social, and governance factors the ‘flavour of the month.’

“The UCP’s unwillingness to take climate change seriously and refusal to commit to net-zero means Alberta risks being left behind as investment and jobs go to other jurisdictions and the negative impacts of climate change increase.”