NEWS RELEASE · 5th August 2010
Strong economic growth does not have to mean more pollution
Marlo Raynolds, Executive Director of the Pembina Institute, made the following statement in response to discussions about oil sands development and the Canadian economy at the Council of the Federation meeting in Winnipeg:
"In Canada we don't have to be dirty to be rich. Provincial economies that can achieve economic growth through clean energy and lower greenhouse gas emissions will be the most competitive going forward.
"While oil sands development in Alberta contributes to the national economy, it comes with a high pollution cost that isn't being accounted for and isn't being adequately addressed. Emissions from oil sands development are projected to triple by 2020, continuing the trend of Alberta leading the nation in pollution growth.
"Between 1990 and 2008 Alberta was responsible for over half (52 per cent) of Canada's emissions growth, despite being responsible for only 18 per cent of GDP growth and 19 per cent of the growth in population.
"In contrast, over the same time period Québec contributed virtually the same portion of Canada's GDP growth as Alberta (18 per cent) but actually saw its absolute emissions fall. While Ontario had the most significant population and GDP growth (47 per cent and 40 per cent of total growth, respectively), it contributed only 10 per cent of the increase in national emissions. These statistics clearly demonstrate that you don't need to increase pollution in order to achieve strong economic growth."