Spotlight on Solutions is our regular blog post that cuts through the partisan spin favouring positive, pragmatic and solutions-oriented politics.
The Carbon Tax and Energy Policy are making headlines once again, thanks to Alberta’s Premier.
John Roggeveen will have plenty to say on that in this week’s Friday Focus but today, we wanted to shine the spotlight on four under-discussed but critically important environmental issues that rarely make the headlines.
Expanding Protected Areas
Protecting nature is critical to preserving biodiversity and fighting climate change. Scientists have been calling on governments to set aside 50% of the planet for nature by 2050. Despite this, only 15% of Alberta’s natural environments are protected as Provincial or National Parks, Wilderness Areas, or Ecological Reserves. We support working with the federal government to achieve the goal of protecting 50% of our natural habitats by designating more protected areas.
Protecting Wildlife and Species at Risk
Alberta needs to step up its conservation efforts to preserve biodiversity by emphasising protecting species at risk. This includes implementing policies like working with conservation groups, increasing penalties for people who harm endangered species, and creating more wildlife corridors to facilitate the migration of displaced wildlife due to urban expansion.
The practice of clearcutting is hugely damaging to ecosystems, animal life, flood protection, and tourism. It also undermines the sustainability of our forestry industry. Yet, this harmful practice has continued unopposed by successive Alberta governments. We believe in banning clearcutting outright while working with the forestry industry to implement best practices for a sustainable industry.
Expanding Recycling Programs
Recycling is changing globally, and Alberta needs to adapt. Alberta can do this by expanding the Electronics Recycling Program to include small appliances and a host of other currently ineligible electronics and by taking advantage of newly passed Extended Producer Responsibility legislation. A strong EPR program makes the manufacturer of the product, not the consumer, responsible for the environmental impact of a product for its life cycle, which will lead to higher environmental standards in the long run.
These are just some environmental issues that don’t get the attention they deserve. In the coming weeks, we’ll be dedicating a whole Spotlight on Solutions to another critical matter, managing our water supply. If you have other topics that you think need the spotlight, let us know!