TRANSrisk partner Science Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex (SPRU) and the Centre for Corporate Sustainability at the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary co-organised the ConocoPhillips IRIS Seminar "Building bridges for Alberta’s energy future: inclusive strategies for a sustainable future", on the 11th of December 2018, in Calgary, Canada.
Oil sands have not only been an important contributor to Alberta’s socio-economic development but also provide a widely used resource that impacts our daily lives. With current global agreements to reduce carbon emissions we have both the responsibility and opportunity to rethink and reformulate our energy future, both as Albertans and global energy players. A lower-carbon future for the energy sector could be possible with the implementation of new technologies, a favorable policy environment and support from politicians and communities at large. If we want to achieve this, now more than ever, we need to implement, innovative and inclusive win-win solutions for a sustainable future. Developing these solutions should take into account a diversity of viewpoints, as well as considering potential socio-economic side-benefits and environmental impacts.
To achieve this goal, policies in Alberta and Canada need to truly unify the different worldviews that co-inhabit the region. Moreover, these new policy mixes should consider global objectives whilst balancing the needs of macro-level objectives and local implementation. Participation of all sectors of society is key to the success of new policy frameworks.
This ConocoPhillips IRIS seminar explored environmental and socio-economic issues involved in the potential transitions of the Albertan energy sector, as well as various viewpoints around collectively building an energy future for Canada. At the seminar discussions regarding the following topics took place: i) Environmental and socio-economic issues that support transformation in Alberta’s energy sector; ii) Changes needed to successful implement realistic transition pathways; iii) Developing realistic and inclusive strategies for a sustainable energy future; iv) Communicating with policy makers and influencing governmental action.