Climate change has far-reaching impacts on Alberta’s economy, infrastructure and natural environment, and on human health.
In 2008, the Alberta government released the Climate Change Strategy and set targets for reducing emissions intensity and absolute emissions in Alberta. That same year, we audited systems the government used to develop and report on the strategy. We concluded that the targets were based on an economic model that included actions that were not part of the strategy. We also concluded that the Department of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development did not have an implementation plan with specific actions to meet targets and monitor against performance. Such a plan is key to Alberta’s success in carrying out the strategy. We made three recommendations to the Department in our October 2008 Report.
In 2009, we audited the Department’s implementation of the Specified Gas Emitters Regulation, (SGE Regulation), a key component under the strategy. The SGE Regulation sets emission intensity limits for facilities that collectively produce 50 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in Alberta. Unless this regulatory program reduces emissions as expected, the government would have to obtain more reductions in other areas or amend its targets. We made seven recommendations to the Department in our October 2009 Report.
In this audit, we followed up on four of the ten recommendations from the 2008 and 2009 audits that the Department indicated it had implemented.
See the below for our audit conclusions on the four recommendations.