Alberta is lagging behind other provinces and developed countries when it comes to the environment, according to the Conference Board of Canada.
The think tank released an environmental report card, comparing Canada and each of the provinces to each other and 15 other developed countries around the world. In the rankings Alberta lagged behind every other jurisdiction except Saskatchewan, receiving a “D-” grade.
The study notes that Albertans produce the highest amount of waste per-capita in Canada, with over 1,000 kg per-person. Per-Capita air pollutants and GHG Emissions also placed Alberta last among all jurisdictions. The only grade the province received above a “C” was in waste water treatment, where the province received a “B” grade.
The study notes that these grades are “not surprising,” given Alberta’s heavy reliance on fossil fuels for electricity production and focus on primary industries like oil extraction. Saskatchewan’s low grades were attributed to the same reasons.
The highest-ranking province is Ontario, which received praise from the CBoC for low air pollutant levels partially attributed to the elimination of the province’s coal industry. Canada’s largest province also managed to beat out five peer countries, ranking 11 out of the 26 jurisdictions in the study.
Overall, Canada received a “D” grade, ranking 14th out of 16 countries that were analysed. The report notes that Canada’s poor performance is due to the fact that the country is geographically large with a spread-out population, necessitating higher levels of per-capita consumption than smaller European nations.
The CBoC is recommending that the country invest in alternative-fuel-source vehicles and to enforce more stringent emissions regulations in order to improve environmental performance. The study also notes that carbon pricing and a shift to low-emission electricity production would help encourage the reduction of GHG emissions.