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Tuesday June 30 2015 7 ENVIRONMENT CLIMATE CHANGE The deadline for fall applications is July 15th Late applications are accepted but payment is not guaranteed for the start date of fall classes. Student Financial Assistance NOW ONLINE www.facebook.comnwtsfa Like us on Facebook for updates reminders tips and to APPLY ONLINE APPLY ONLINE Alberta raises carbon taxes for big emitters By MEAGAN WOHLBERG Albertas heaviest green- house gas emitters will be forced to reduce their emis- sions or pay the price thanks to new stricter policies on climate change announced last week. The recently-elected NDP government announced Thursday it is clamping down on the amount of emissions companies can release before being taxed and doubling the cost of the levy. Businesses producing more than 100000 tonnes of carbon dioxide CO2 a year will be forced to reduce their emissions intensity by 15 per cent in 2016 and 20 per cent by 2017. Those companies will also have to pay double the current carbon tax rate on every tonne of CO2 pro- duced beyond those levels now up from 15 to 30 ef- fectively raising the cost of carbon from 2 per tonne to 6 by 2017. Some will argue we are moving too far and too fast. I say to them that more of the same would be the worst thing we could do for our energy economy and for the future of our province Al- berta Environment Minister Shannon Phillips said during a press conference Thursday. We are serious about mak- ing progress. The new limits replace regulations that were introduced in 2007 and expired this month. The changes come as the NDP announced it will be renewing and updating the provinces current climate change strategy ahead of the UN climate change con- vention in Paris this Decem- ber. The province has hired Andrew Leach an associ- ate professor and academic director of energy programs attheUniversityofAlbertato chair an advisory panel that will comprehensively review the province of Albertas cli- mate change policy consult stakeholders and provide ad- vice on a permanent set of measures over the next three months. Other members of the panel will be added in the coming weeks. The panel will report back to government in the fall on what it heard from Alber- tans about actions that can be taken to reduce emissions across the province. That ad- vice will inform the devel- opment of a new provincial strategy and will be consid- ered alongside advice from a separate panel to be estab- lished on resource royalties. InherannouncementPhil- lips was critical of the previ- ous PC governments inaction on climate change. For years the previous government failed to de- velop a meaningful strategy to deal with the important issue of climate change and we are going to do things differently she said. Con- versations with industry and climate change experts are already underway and I look forward to engaging with Albertans as we work together with the intention of creating an effective cli- mate change action plan that helps us achieve real demonstrable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Mackenzie Basin Board ministers meet for rst time in 18 years By MEAGAN WOHLBERG Signatories to the Macken- zieRiverBasinAgreementmet forthersttimesince1997last week to review next steps as transboundary water agree- ments are being nalized by the various jurisdictions. The ministers of the Mack- enzie River Basin Board met in Winnipeg last week while there for their annual meet- ing of Canadas environment ministers. Itwasthersttimetheyhad metcollectivelyontheissueof sharedjurisdictionoverwater inalmosttwodecadesandac- cordingtoNWTEnvironment andNaturalResourcesMinis- terMichaelMiltenbergeralot hashappenedinthemeantime. Itwasafairlyhistoricmeet- inghesaid.Theresbeensub- stantiveprogressonthebilat- eral agreements...and theres been an exponential increase ininterestinwhatshappening withwatergiventheresource developmentclimatechange global warming issues that are happening around us as we speak with our drought water levels at all time lows. Theres a huge increase in in- terest at the political level at thepubliclevelatthebusiness level with all the Aboriginal governments about water. So I think that has sparked the interest to have people come to the table. Therstinterjurisdictional agreementonwaterwassigned in March by the government ofAlbertaandtheNWT.Now Miltenbergersaidagreements are imminent with B.C. and Saskatchewan likely to be signed before this falls terri- torial election. AtthesametimeAlbertais nalizingagreementswithB.C. andSaskatchewantheYukon is completing one with B.C. and the NWT and Yukon are likely to revisit their historic agreementtorevisetheterms. MinistersfromB.C.Yukon Saskatchewan Nunavut and Yukon attended the meeting. Albertahadplannedtoattend butwasunabletolastminute as was the federal minister. Miltenbergersaidtheminis- tersplantomeetyearlyalong- sidetheirannualmeetingand to include one or two confer- encecallsthroughouttheyear to stay on top of progress. Itwasaninterestingmeet- ing and one where there was anacknowledgementthatwe onago-forward basisshould be meeting annually Milt- enberger said. The biggest piece is the efcient effective implementationofthebilater- als. Getting them signed is of course an important rst step but theres going to be timeandeffortandresources neededtoimplementthemand makesurethatwhathasbeen agreed to is followed up on. Partofthatgreaterconversa- tionwilllookatthereviewing themandateofthebasinboard itselfwhichMiltenbergersaid willbeinstrumentalinlinking the various agreements to- getherinonecohesivenetwork. ENVIRONMENT WATERSHEDS PhotoChrisSchwarzGovtofAlberta Albertas Environment Minister Shannon Phillips announces new stricter rules for the provinces heaviest greenhouse gas emitters including tighter limits on emissions and increased carbon taxes.