Federal Environment Minister Steven Guilbeault met with his Alberta counterpart for the first time since voters gave the province a new mandate to govern.
Environment Minister Rebecca Schulz met Guilbeault to discuss Ottawa's push for a 'net-zero' electricity grid and a de facto production cap on oil and gas producers.
As of writing, it is unclear if either minister reached a consensus on the issues.
While Alberta aspires to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, the two governments must "agree on how we get there."
"I informed Minister Guilbeault that our government remains resolutely opposed to any federal cap on oil and gas emissions or electricity regulations that are not expressly consented to by Alberta and that do not align with Alberta's emissions reduction and energy development plan," Schulz told reporters on July 19.
"We also discussed the previously announced joint working group to discuss emissions reduction innovation and technology, including carbon capture, utilization, and storage," she said.
Schulz added that Canada and Alberta could prioritize emissions reduction while ensuring competitive, sustainable energy development to meet global energy demands.
"We can do this in a way that does not jeopardize jobs, energy security, and affordability," continued Alberta's minister. "We need common sense, practical solutions, and innovative approaches that cut emissions and create jobs — not ideology."
Federal data indicates the oil and gas sector contributes immensely to Canada's economy, adding $175 billion to the country's GDP in 2017. It also created 276,000 direct jobs and up to 900,000 jobs indirectly — the source of employment for 5% of Canadians.
Alberta's Premier Danielle Smith conveyed her disappointment regarding comments Guilbeault made about fossil fuels during the annual climate summit hosted by the U.N. in which environmental ministers convene.
Guilbeault said COP28 could be the first to acknowledge "the need to phase out unabated fossil fuels."
Smith vehemently disagrees with the minister's belief that oil and gas production will fall 25% by 2050.
"This does not align with any credible forecast of future world energy consumption, which continues to see oil and gas dominating the energy supply mix for decades to come," she said.
The premier replied: "[Alberta] will not recognize any federally imposed emission-reduction targets for our energy and electricity sectors under any circumstances unless such targets are first consented to by the Government of Alberta."
"Nor will Alberta recognize any right of the federal government to legislate or regulate in this exclusive area of provincial jurisdiction, or any area of shared constitutional jurisdiction, without the explicit approval of Alberta."
Smith has repeatedly asked Trudeau to "instruct his involved ministers to respect the rights and jurisdiction of all provinces."
By respecting provincial jurisdiction, the premier believes the country can rebuild investor confidence in Canadian oil and gas as "profitable, certain, and the most environmentally responsible on Earth."