Reinvest Alberta’s Carbon Tax In Environmental Education Opportunities
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We are a group of dedicated high school students living in Alberta. As many of us have lived in Alberta for the entirety of our lives, we have come to notice the real effects and changes occurring to our climate in our province, such as the retreat of the Bow Glacier in Banff National Park and the increase in severe weather events happening across Alberta. Change needs to occur now, for not only us students, but the generations to come after.
In early 2017, Alberta’s provincial government introduced a carbon levy for the province. Over the next three years, Alberta’s carbon levy is expected to raise $5.4 billion according to CBC as of March, 2017. In 2017, the Alberta government awarded $600,000 for a project called the Community Environment Action Grant which will continue its efforts in 2018 with the same amount of money. This means in 2017 alone, only $600,000 of the $1.8 billion raised went towards climate change education. Essentially, the grant provides funding for non-profit groups that either build awareness, use innovation/invention, or bring communities or other individuals together about this probing issue. If eligible, the grant can even cover 100% of a project's cost, and funding can range from $25,000 to $150,000 for each applicant (Alberta Government Website). Overall, grants like these are crucial for improving climate change and environmental education, giving students the motivation and information they need for climate change mitigation. 19% of the $5.4 billion is going towards grants for renewable energy sectors and green energy companies, and although the Alberta government has shown leadership in addressing this issue, its actions have not gone far enough.
Innovation and green technologies can drive our present and future economies, but only if we give young Albertans the education they need.
To combat climate change now and in the future, we urge Alberta’s Provincial Government to:
1. Set aside a portion of the Climate Leadership Plan’s funds to sponsor provincial scholarships for study in renewable energy sectors and technologies
2. Address climate change and other environmental issues in the K-12 curriculum, with a particular focus put on the current impacts climate change is having and what we can do as individuals to help mitigate its effects and the amount of emissions we currently produce
Alberta’s environment is just too beautiful to keep putting at risk. We need real change, with real education for young Albertans on how to mitigate climate change. Only then can we begin to see a noticeable change in our future.
A. (n.d.). Community Environment Action Grant. Retrieved May 11, 2017, from https://www.alberta.ca/alberta-community-environment-action-grant.aspx
Alberta unveils grants for climate change education. (2017, February 06). Retrieved May 11, 2017, from https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/alberta-unveils-grants-for-climate-change-education-1.3273240
Coyne, T. (2017, March 16). Heres where Albertas carbon tax dollars are going. Retrieved May 11, 2017, from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/edmonton/alberta-carbon-tax-dollars-1.4028902
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