Issue Briefs

Issue Brief: Alberta Court of Appeal finds Impact Assessment Act unconstitutional

On May 10, 2022, in a 4-1 decision, the Alberta Court of Appeal issued its opinion that the federal Impact Assessment Act is unconstitutional. The constitutional challenge was launched by the Province of Alberta after the Act became law in 2019. In response, the federal government swiftly announced its intention to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of Canada.  Decisions issued in constitutional references such as this, are considered non-binding, so the Impact Assessment Act remains in force.

A number of legal experts have expressed the opinion that the constitutionality of the Impact Assessment Act would be upheld by the Supreme Court. Read More

Coal Mining in Alberta's Eastern Slopes and Beyond

Take Action on Coal  |  Information & Resources  |  Updates & News 

Updated March 15, 2022

Latest Update: Government announces expanded coal restrictions, releases Coal Policy Committee reports

On March 4, 2022, the Government of Alberta announced restrictions on coal development in the Eastern Slopes of the Rockies. The restrictions on new development will be in place until directions on coal activities are incorporated into updated regional land-use plans.

The Goverment also released the final reports of the Coal Policy Committee. Concerns with the environmental impacts of coal mining ranked among the most important issues to Albertans.

Environmental groups welcomed the restrictions on new development, but concerns remained over the impacts of existing coal mining activities and the 4 advanced projects that were allowed to continue the regulatory process.

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Alberta Beyond Coal: What to Expect in 2022

Despite the reinstatement of Alberta’s 1976 Coal Policy in 2021, eight coal mining projects continued to move ahead with exploration. Coal development was not only still an option in Alberta, it was still happening.

Protect our Water - Alberta Beyond Coal was started to fight well-resourced coal companies and their billionaire owners. Through education, outreach and a strategic lawn sign campaign, the Alberta Environmental Network organized a collaborative effort to pause coal development in Alberta.  Read More

UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow

COP26 in Glasgow comes to an official close today. A first draft of the COP26 agreement text was released on Wednesday, and was criticized for its lack of ambition and urgency.

The draft text explicitly refers to "fossil fuels" — which has never appeared in the final text of a COP decision document — calling on countries "to accelerate the phasing-out of coal and subsidies for fossil fuels." This language was watered down in the second draft published today.

While COP26 officially ends today, negotiations on the final text of the agreement are ongoing. Negotiations at previous COPs have often extended until Saturday or Sunday. Read More

Issue Brief: Irrigation Expansion Project in Southern Alberta

The single largest irrigation expansion in Alberta’s history is underway. By converting canals into pipelines and constructing new reservoirs, the $815 million project aims to boost irrigated land in the province without using more water. But the massive infrastructure project started without public consultation and an assessment of the cumulative impacts and effects on the health of the river ecosystem  Read More

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