The Graduate College at the University of Calgary, along with TRANSrisk partner Science Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex (SPRU) and The Graduate Students' Association co-organised the stakeholder workshop entitled "Creating a Common Language for Low-carbon futures in Alberta", on 12th of March within the framework of the TRANSrisk case study in Canada.
The workshop, consisting of a panel discussion, identified future pathways envisioned by the Fort McKay residents for their socio-economic development and assessed how these futures may look like for the community. More particularly, experts from various backgrounds (Indigenous communities, Academia, Policy Making, and Industry) presented their views on the challenges and opportunities of current initiatives addressing low-carbon future options in Alberta. In addition, the panelists discussed the potential risks and uncertainties for these futures and their socio-economic impact from the perspective of the communities involved. Attendees learned about the evolution of the energy sector and what is the current situation regarding green-house gas emissions. Also, they learned how potential low-carbon futures for the province may look like and engaged in a constructive and thorough dialogue with the panelists and other members of the audience.
The low-carbon futures discussed were the following:
- Future 1: Capping Oil Sands GHG emissions and methane reduction. This future considers the Government of Alberta’s current effort to decrease emission in the oil sand sector. Based on the Alberta Climate Leadership Plan.
- Future 2: Paced oil sands development and land use protection. This future considers the increase of protected natural land areas, slow development of industrial sites and improved reclamation of land, and demand rigorous industrial best practices. Based on Fort McKay’s Moose Lake Protection and Access Management Plan.
- Future 3: Supporting a clean energy mix. This future considers limited growth of the oil sand sector and the expansion of renewable energy with an aim of increasing renewable energy to 30% by 2030 in the electricity sector. Based on innovation pathways developed in partnership with Energy Futures Lab.
The workshop's panellists were:
- Cecilia Fitzpatrick - Elder, Fort McKay First Nation;
- Bori Arrobo - Sr. Manager, Environmental and Regulatory Affairs, Fort McKay First Nation;
- John Van Ham - Director, Water NEXT and VHR Inc, Environmental Consulting;
- Prof. Alastair Lucas - Director, Sustainable Energy Development, University of Calgary;
- Prit Kotecha - Manager, Environmental Excellence, Suncor Energy.
More information on the Graduate College at the University of Calgary is available here.