Environmental activists put a spotlight on Alberta's climate record on Wednesday at the COP28 climate summit by giving the province the so-called "Fossil of the Day" award.

The Climate Action Network hands out the award daily at UN climate summits, but it's usually given to national governments, not a province or state. At previous summits, Canada was given the award on multiple occasions under both Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and former prime minister Stephen Harper.

Alberta fell into the climate bad books for its temporary ban on large scale wind and solar projects in the province and for producing such a large share of Canada's emissions.

"Alberta, we don't want you to end up like your namesake, the long-extinct Albertosaurus. Listen to what people in your own province want — a plan to transition from dependency on volatile fossil fuels to the opportunities of clean energy, in a way that protects workers — or you'll get left behind," said the Climate Action Network.

Earlier on Wednesday, Alberta Premier Danielle Smith spoke at two different events at the climate summit along with Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe.

Both promoted the emissions reduction investments by both governments, highlighted the growth of the carbon capture industries in each province, and took aim at the federal government for not being an ally on important economic and environmental policies.

They specifically pointed to a lack of collaboration on the federal government's proposed methane regulations unveiled a few days ago and the upcoming oilpatch emissions cap.

"We're using brute force at the moment just by going to court and getting the Supreme Court and the federal courts to clarify some of these issues for the federal government. I suppose we'll have to do a little bit more of that," said Smith.

"Unfortunately what you may be seeing is the fundamental dysfunctionality that we have in Canada at the moment is that the federal government is not respecting provincial jurisdiction," she said.

Alberta to oppose Clean Electricity Regulations

Last week, the Alberta government announced it would oppose the federal government's Clean Electricity Regulations. 

In October, the Supreme Court of Canada ruled against Ottawa and in favour of arguments from provincial governments about how major projects are approved in the country.

When the federal government announced the stricter methane rules earlier this week, the federal government said it would begin consulting with the provinces and other stakeholders starting later this month.


Over the years, some conservative politicians have criticized these UN climate summits as a waste of time and "a big gabfest," as described by former Alberta premier Jason Kenney while in office two years ago.

Smith and Moe say it's crucial to be at the event, which was echoed by former Quebec premier Jean Charest, who joined them on stage for an event at the Saskatchewan pavilion on Wednesday.

"I can guarantee you, if you don't show up, no one does it in your place and you must be here. I'm a big believer that if you don't show up, you're not going to be able to put forward that case," said Charest.

The Saskatchewan pavilion features a small meeting space and a video screen to promote the province's emission reduction technologies. 

The pavilion is hosting events with seating for about 40 people. The venue was packed for the panel with the Alberta and Saskatchewan premiers. About half the seats were full for the subsequent event.

Advertising spending and the cost of the pavilion totals about $1 million, but in an interview with CBC News, Moe said he didn't have buyer's remorse.

"None at all, actually. It's working better than planned," he said. "This isn't something we do each and every year. This is something that we're able to do this year because of the relationship that we have formed with the United Arab Emirates."

2023-12-06T16:16:08Z dg43tfdfdgfd