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Calgary plays host to climate change advisory panel open house

It’s an issue causing a climate of unrest among Albertans.

Turnout was brisk Tuesday at Calgary’s first climate change advisory panel open house, giving several hundred a chance to have their say on the future of environmental policy in Alberta.

“It gives all Albertans a chance to feed into the process,” said panel chair Dr. Andrew Leach.

The panel is tasked with reshaping Alberta’s policy on climate change in time for the UN Climate Change Conference this December in Paris.

Part of that process, Leach said, is to ensure as many voices as possible are included.

“We just don’t have the time as a panel to get into the weeds on every policy, industry and facility in Alberta,” he said. “That’s why we tried to build a process that lets people feed-in as much as possible.”

Encouraging the use of existing green technologies should be a priority for the government, said attendee Marlyn Labiuk.

This includes offering subsidies for those wishing to install solar panels on their homes, an option Labiuk had previously explored.

“When I looked into it, I didn’t see much cost-benefit to do so,” she said. “If there was something behind it to make it economically feasible, wouldn’t that be wonderful?”

Mike Byerley, a petroleum geologist for nearly 20 years before switching focus to the environment, appreciated the chance to contribute to the panel’s process.

He feels energy companies will play a big role within the province’s climate change framework.

“Companies can be progressive and build into new opportunities,” he said.

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