I was pleased to hear that the Pembina Institute’s executive-director, Linda Coady, has been appointed to the federal government’s new Net-Zero Advisory Body. The body is an independent group of 14 experts who will provide advice to the government on the best ways for the country to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
I am pleased because this means a moderate voice from Alberta with a thorough knowledge of the energy/environment relationship will be heard in Ottawa.
Formed in Drayton Valley, Alberta in 1984, in response to the Lodgepole gas well blowout, the worst in the province’s history, the Pembina Institute now has offices in Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Vancouver and Ottawa.
In its early years, with the help of volunteers, it worked to reduce sulphur emissions from gas plants, develop a federal green plan and help create the Alberta Environmental Protection Act. By the 1990s it was providing consulting services to clients including TransAlta Utilities, BC Hydro, Suncor, First Nations, government, and environmental organizations such as Greenpeace and the David Suzuki Foundation. Today, with a staff of over 50, it is one of Canada’s leading non-profit think tanks on energy, climate, and environmental issues.
Linda has a strong background in building working relationships across diverse groups and perspectives on sustainable development. She has leadership experience in multiple sectors, including forestry, mining, and oil and gas, as well as with environmental organizations, local communities and financial institutions.
The Net-Zero Advisory Body on which she will serve has been tasked by Minister of Environment and Climate Change Jonathan Wilkinson with identifying ways of creating “a strong foundation for achieving net-zero emissions while enabling a strong, resilient economic recovery following the pandemic.” The Body is “comprised of 14 individuals with a diverse range of experience and expertise in business, policymaking, science and other areas, who will consult with Canadians and advise the government.”
Designed to be a permanent resource, it is a child of the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act and will engage with provinces, municipalities, Indigenous Peoples, youth, businesses, environmental groups, and interested Canadians.
Like the Pembina Institute, Linda Coady knows Alberta. And from a broader perspective than our premier. She will be a voice that represents the future, a sharp contrast to Jason Kenney’s clinging to the past.