Premier Ed Stelmach’s refusal to go to the Copenhagen climate conference has left the province open to verbal attacks, said the leader of the Alberta Liberal Party.
In a prepared statement, Alberta Liberal Leader David Swann said he was “appalled” by the premiers of Quebec and Ontario, “shamelessly” blaming Alberta for Canada’s climate woes — but added the premier’s presence could have shielded Albertans from the storm.
“Copenhagen should have been an opportunity for Canadians from coast to coast to stand together and offer solutions. Instead, we’re throwing rocks at each other, and the premier isn’t there to stand up for us,” Swann said.
Swann went on to say that if he were premier he would have gone to Copenhagen to “stand up for the energy sector” and also to bring climate change solutions to the table.
The premier said the province has spent thousands of hours with the federal government to ensure the province was adequately represented at the conference. Provincial representatives, including Alberta Environment Minister Rob Renner are at the Copenhagen conference.
Swann believes Alberta needs to take a leadership role in ushering in climate change measures.
“We need to be global leaders not only in the energy industry, but also in the fight against climate change and in the emerging green economy,” said Swann.