A Path Forward in Alberta
Carbon offset partnerships with First Nations economic development corporations will affect material change in Alberta’s emission inventory.
First Nations Power Authority (FNPA) envisions an energy future for all First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples that is low-carbon, resilient, and economically autonomous. The path forward requires thoughtfulness in equity partnerships, strategic fit, and innovation.
To act on climate change, the Government of Canada has mandated a net-zero 2050 ambition, and only through intentional investment will emissions be reduced. Carbon offset partnerships with First Nations economic development corporations will affect material change in Alberta’s emission inventory.
Alberta disproportionately emits relative to its population. Emissions from Alberta make up 37 per cent of Canada’s emission inventory. However, Alberta only constitutes 10 per cent of the population.¹ First Nations Power Authority estimates that industrial emitters on Treaty land emit about 20 per cent of Canada’s total emission inventory.² The primary source of emissions from industrial activities are from oil and gas extraction and electricity generation. Currently, over 600 individual industrial activities occur on treaty land.
Pathways Towards a Net-Zero 2050 in Alberta
FNPA is committed to evaluating the cost-benefit of a wide range of emission reducing projects and economic development opportunities related to energy. The FNPA goal is simple—to enable the long term economic independence of First Nations communities and people.
FNPA has a strong track record of advancing emission reducing projects in collaboration with government and industry in Saskatchewan and is investing in Alberta. FNPA operates at the intersection of First Nations community need, low-carbon transition, and technical expertise. Special consideration of renewable resource intensity, optimization of existing heavy emitters, and proximity to existing infrastructure will enable decision making with community vision at the forefront.
The Intersection of First Nations Power Authority
The Future is Digital
As Canada transitions energy systems, the digital transition cannot be forgotten. Only 24 per cent of households in Indigenous communities have access to the internet at 50/10 Mbps rates compared to 84 per cent of Canadian households overall.³ Covid-19 has made it clear that broadband access is critical to education, social, and health services. In tandem to low-carbon transition partnerships, FNPA considers the myriad of opportunities for the community as a whole.
“High-speed Internet access is critical to those living in rural and remote areas. The COVID-19 pandemic has further highlighted the importance of being connected, informed and in touch with family, friends and health services and more.”⁴
—The Honourable Daniel Vandal, Minister of Northern Affairs Canada
FNPA has expertise in the issues that matter most to many First Nations communities. Energy transition alongside digital transition cannot leave any Canadian behind. FNPA is optimistic about the future and how to enable strong economic, health, and social outcomes through partnership.
The Alberta Emission Reduction Competitive Landscape
Alberta’s geomorphology offers a competitive advantage in nearly all forms of low-carbon economic development opportunities. From hydrogen production to renewable generation to carbon sequestration—Alberta is the most competitive province to invest in within Canada.
¹ Environment and Climate Change Canada – Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Accessed 2021-02-22, https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/environmental- indicators/greenhouse-gas-emissions.html, Accessed February 22, 2021
² Canadian Energy Regulator, Provincial and Territorial Energy Profiles, https://www.cer-rec.gc.ca/en/data-analysis/energy-markets/provincial-territorial-energy-profiles/ provincial-territorial-energy-profiles-alberta.html, Accessed February 22, 2021
³ High-Speed Access for All: Canada’s Connectivity Strategy, https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/139.nsf/eng/h_00002.html
⁴ Connecting the Prairies and Territories to high-speed Internet with the Universal Broadband Fund, https://www.canada.ca/en/innovation-science-economic-development/ news/2020/11/connecting-the-prairies-and-territories-to-high-speed-internet-with-the-universal-broadband-fund.html