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Calgary Chamber of Commerce President Pitches Fossils at UN Climate Action Summit

http://www.greenpeace.org/canada/en/campaigns/Energy/tarsands/Greenpeace / Jiri Rezac

With delegates and protesters from around the world gathered to push toward faster, deeper greenhouse gas reductions, the president of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce was at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York earlier this week to lobby for the Canadian fossil sector.

The experience for Sandip Lalli “wasn’t like mixing oil and water,” the Calgary Herald reports [1].

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“Nobody’s denying climate change, and I never got the sense from anybody here that we’re not doing our part,” she told the Herald. “Having industry in the room was seen as positive….The message was ‘don’t let governments get in the way of business providing solutions’.”

Lalli met with youth involved with what Herald writer Bill Kaufmann calls the “so-called climate strike”, and said a “positive, respectful discourse” was had by all.

“We realized we don’t have the solutions, but know there’s an enhanced need for collaboration and dialogue,” Lalli said. [Note to Calgary readers: Would someone please get the Calgary Chamber a set of materials [3] on the carbon-free climate solutions that are out there, affordable, and ready for prime time? With a cc to the reporter who endeavours [4] to convey “all things truth, not truthiness”?—Ed.]

Lalli said she met institutional investors from a number of countries who “made it clear they want to see a more sustainable approach in the [fossil] industry, along with policy stability to ensure it,” the Herald notes. Critics of Jason Kenney’s United Conservative Party government “say its decision to kill Alberta’s carbon tax and the previous government’s climate leadership that was endorsed by oilsands producers—and its silence on the proposed coal phaseout—are setbacks for that kind of certainty.”

But “Lalli said she’s yet to hear those moves are being seen as obstacles” to Alberta’s efforts to pitch its fossil industry to overseas customers.

“We can be pro-environment and pro-development, that’s the message that resonated here,” she told Kaufmann. “We have to make sure we have a climate plan that is competitive and supports innovative technology….The idea is to get to a national vision for federal and provincial policies that are in step.”