Video blog: Alberta Carbon Pricing featuring Steve Williams, Chris Ragan, and Jim Dinning

Steve Wiliams, President and CEO of Suncor Energy, speaking at the Ecofiscal Commission event in Calgary May 22
Climate and Energy

On Friday, May 22, Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission and Suncor co-hosted a panel discussion in Calgary, Alberta: In This Together—Carbon Pricing and Alberta’s Family Business. What follows are videos of the event, including the keynote address by Steve Williams, President and CEO of Suncor Energy, the presentation by Chris Ragan, Chair of the Ecofiscal Commission, and finally some highlights from our panel discussion.

Steve Williams, President & CEO, Suncor Energy

“All of this is all happening whilst we have a world of low crude prices and it’s very difficult for us to predict exactly where those prices are going to go. So, very important we get this context of the health of the economy, Canadian competitiveness, and the environment all in one conversation. You can’t have one without the other. If you just unilaterally make progress on one, you will impact the other one.”

Read Steve Williams’ speech.

Chris Ragan, Chair, Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission

“Over the next 50-75 years, it is highly likely that the world will transition toward cleaner forms of energy. But we can be equally sure that during that lengthy transition, there will continue to be a significant world demand for oil. We cannot know where every barrel of that oil will come from, but we do know that they will be from the sources lowest on the global cost curve and lowest on the carbon intensity curve. That’s simply how markets work.”

Read Chris Ragan’s remarks.

Carbon Pricing & Alberta’s Family Business – Highlights

Our panelists included:

  • Jim Dinning is the chairman of the board of directors of Western Financial Group and former Treasurer of Alberta, and on the Ecofiscal Advisory Board.
  • Amin Asadollahi is the Oilsands Program Director at the Pembina Institute.
  • Judy Fairburn is the Executive Advisor to the Executive Office of Cenovus Energy and also the Board Chair of Alberta Innovates Tech Futures.
  • Justin Smith is the Director of Policy, Research and Government Relations at the Calgary Chamber.

“The bottom line is that pricing will drive action by everyone, and pricing will change behaviour. And our political leaders should learn how to say that”—Jim Dinning

“A price on carbon from our perspective is one of the fairest and best ways to stimulate innovation and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Not just from the front-end, all the way through the chain, all the way through to end users”—Judy Fairburn

Carbon pricing revenues should be used for “enhancing the industry’s ability to comply with ever increasing stringency”—Justin Smith

“We need to diversify our energy mixes […] we need to lift people out of energy poverty”—Amin Asadollahi

“Going through some paradigm shifts here […] the shift from a supply driven mindset, here in Alberta, to a market driven global mindset. We have to be globally competitive, again, on cleaner, affordable energy”—Judy Fairburn

Read tweets from the panel discussion and audience Q&A.

To learn more about Canada’s carbon pricing systems, including B.C.’s carbon tax and Quebec’s cap-and-trade system, check out the interactive summary of our report “The Way Forward: A Practical Approach to Reducing Canada’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions”.
Launch the Interactive Summary

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