COVID-19 presents an unprecedented threat — and a unique opportunity to build a cleaner economy

Had things worked out differently, the Liberal government’s post-election agenda might have started to take shape this spring with a budget focused on addressing climate change.

That might seem like a missed opportunity now. But responding to an economic crisis brought on by a global pandemic is presenting the government with new opportunities to combat climate change — and the Liberals might be judged by how well they seize this moment.

Had there been a budget this spring, it likely would have included some mention of at least two initiatives that are now part of the government’s pandemic response: orphan well cleanup and climate-related financial disclosure.

With Alberta’s economy already in dire need of assistance, federal aid for the work of cleaning up abandoned oil and gas wells was under consideration before COVID-19 and a steep drop in oil prices did deeper damage in March. To address all of those challenges, the Liberals announced $1.7 billion in funding for wells in April as part of a relief package that also included new assistance to help firms reduce carbon emissions.

Environmentalists seemed to approve. So did Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. But demands for more help persisted.

Read full article here.

Aaron Wherry – CBC News – May 13, 2020.

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