Alberta Can Transition from Oil and Gas and Have a Strong Economy. Here’s How

‘Tens of thousands’ of people would be put to work immediately in high-skill jobs, say advocates.

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Lliam Hildebrand: Alberta’s workers need to escape the oil boom-and-bust cycle. Renewable energy can help. Photo from Iron & Earth.

What will a transition away from oil and gas mean for workers in Alberta?

Perhaps greater job security than in the boom and bust heydays of the oilsands, comparable wages and less time apart from family.

This is not a utopian pipe dream. Over the past month The Tyee spoke with experts across the province and the country who said Albertans have the skills and desire to build the sustainable energy system necessary to address our climate emergency.

“A lot of the people that support the pipeline are also very pro-renewable energy,” said Lliam Hildebrand, who spent years working in the oilsands and now runs a group called Iron & Earth that advocates for policies connecting oil workers to the millions of jobs required to build a low-carbon economy in Canada.

Decades of employment for laid-off Albertans could be unlocked by our political leaders in a matter of days.

Report: Risking It All: How Export Development Canada’s Support for Fossil Fuels Drives Climate Change

Ottawa, Ont. – A new report released today reveals the disconnect between Canada’s promises on climate change and the actions of its official export credit agency, Export Development Canada (EDC), in propping up the oil and gas industry.

Disclosures and analysis of transaction-level data reveals that EDC provides, on average, over $10 billion in government-backed support for oil and gas companies every year. Between 2012 and 2017, EDC provided twelve times more support for oil and gas than it did for clean technologies. In the first two years of the current government, EDC provided more support for oil and gas (22.4 billion) than was provided during the last two years of the previous government (20.9 billion).

“To avoid the worst impacts of a warming world, financial flows must shift rapidly away from fossil fuels, but when it comes to Canada’s government-backed public finance, we’re seeing just the opposite,” said Alex Doukas, Program Director for Oil Change International. “This money should be used in ways that deliver public benefits, but instead, it’s being used to pour gasoline on the climate change fire.” READ MORE

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