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Large Emitters In Alberta Cut Emissions Instead Of Paying Fines

smokestackalberta.jpgThe Canadian province of Alberta received $25 million less from carbon-emissions fines in the past eight months than it expected, the Edmunton Journal reports.

This means large industrial emitters are cutting their greenhouse gases rather than paying fines for missing their climate-change targets.

The province’s requirement that companies cut their per-barrel or per-unit of energy emissions by 12 percent below mid-decade levels suggested to some the government might collect upwards of $65 million toward its Climate Change and Emissions Management Fund in the 2006-2007 fiscal year.

Instead it collected only around $40 million.

Companies in the province reduced their greenhouse gas emissions by 2.6 megatonnes, the equivalent to taking 550,000 vehicles off Alberta roads. The cuts were likely outstripped, however, by increased emissions from Alberta’s industrial and population boom. By 2005, Alberta’s total annual greenhouse gas output was 233 megatonnes, having risen an average of 4.2 megatonnes annually since 1990.

Canada’s federal environment commissioner Johanne Gelinas was fired last year shortly after expressing concerns about massive expansion in the Alberta oilsands and the resulting greenhouse gas emissions.

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