Alberta Premier Danielle Smith expressed her discontent with the Canadian energy minister’s remarks during the opening night of the World Petroleum Congress in Calgary. Smith stated that the minister’s comments on the transition to net-zero emissions were ill-received by many attendees, and her frustration with the federal government continued to simmer as Calgary hosted the largest energy sector conference in the world.
Smith mentioned that numerous individuals approached her after the minister’s speech, curious to see if she was angered by his remarks. She emphasized the industry’s ongoing efforts to align with carbon neutrality goals, describing it as a transition away from emissions rather than a winding down of the industry.
Energy and Natural Resources Minister Jonathan Wilkinson, in his address, spoke about the need for meaningful progress by 2030 to achieve the global goal of carbon-zero by 2050. He acknowledged the International Energy Agency’s estimate that oil and gas demand would peak in this decade, an estimation that was met with criticism at the conference. Wilkinson emphasized the necessity of reducing the combustion of fossil fuels to combat climate change.
Smith criticized Wilkinson’s remarks as tone-deaf, asserting that they failed to recognize the industry’s commitment to carbon neutrality. She insisted that the industry was not winding down but rather transitioning away from emissions.
Provincial energy ministers echoed Smith’s sentiments, expressing their dissatisfaction with Wilkinson’s speech during a panel discussion. Saskatchewan Energy Minister Jim Reiter, along with his counterparts from Alberta and Newfoundland and Labrador, stressed the importance of investment in the oil and gas industry. They argued that the world needs more clean Canadian oil and gas, contrary to Wilkinson’s suggestions.
As the World Petroleum Congress continued in Calgary, Premier Danielle Smith aimed to showcase the city and highlight the efforts of the energy sector in transitioning away from emissions.
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