EDMONTON - Sarah Hoffman, Candidate for Leader of the Alberta NDP, released an aggressive plan to guide Alberta’s climate change response, and protect Albertans’ air and water.

“I know that some folks are going to say this goes too far,” Hoffman said at her media event at Bayware Renewables. “But when I see what Alberta is facing, like catastrophic drought, unprecedented wildfires and air that isn’t safe for kids to breathe on a summer day I know we have to take dramatic action.

“The time for creative accounting, fun with numbers, and aspirational goals is over. We must reduce the carbon emissions that drive climate change and threaten our way of life.”

Hoffman called for carbon emissions to be cut by 35 per cent below current levels by 2035, and a provincial cap and trade system guided by three principles.

“The first is that the polluter pays,” Hoffman said. “Corporations who are making record profits from pulling carbon out of the ground need to be in the business of pulling it out of the air. The second is that public dollars should be used to help members of the public reduce their emissions and their energy bills. And the third is that we need to build the economy of the future now. Our American competitors are racing ahead on this while Alberta is standing still.”

Hoffman committed to: 

  • redirect revenue away from industry subsidies and the UCP energy war room and into ways to actually help Albertans reduce their emissions and their bills.
  • a Solar For All program that makes electricity more affordable for individuals, families, small businesses, community groups, and First Nations.
  • reverse the UCP’s policy of sabotaging renewable energy projects on Day One
  • bring more energy storage onto the grid and upgrade the transmission and distribution systems for a renewable energy future.
  • Establish a Crown corporation that will provide low-emission public transportation between Alberta communities and help build out EV infrastructure along provincial highways and within municipalities.
  • Cancellation of Smith’s EV levy and replacement with a rebate.

A Sarah Hoffman government would also establish a Youth Climate Corps.

“This is a one-stop shop for young Albertans who want to take control of their own climate destiny,” Hoffman said. A Youth Climate Corps will connect them with good-paying jobs that take meaningful action in response to climate change. These are union jobs with embedded training, trades qualifications and post-secondary education.”

Hoffman also called for a serious review of how the province protects Albertans’ water and air.

“We are entering a new era of air quality warnings and water scarcity. We need a deep review of how we use water in Alberta and how we protect Albertans from harmful smoke, especially children. We will undertake a serious review of water allocations, within Alberta’s Treaty obligations.

I believe water should be prioritized for people, then agriculture, and then industrial uses.”

Prominent environmental activist Juan Vargas endorsed Hoffman’s plan.

“When I hear someone like Sarah speak about her vision on climate, I know that she understands this moment. On climate, Sarah stands in her own lane,” Vargas said.”She understands that to face a threat like climate change, we have to act with the scale that the crisis demands.”

“What I’m proudest of is the Youth Climate Corps. A new Crown Corporation that would employ thousands of us building and protecting the communities we deserve. Paying us a living wage. Offering us pathways to future careers and education. And yes, finally giving what so many of us want, which is access to union representation. Because climate is a labour issue, and labour is a climate issue.

“A Youth Climate Corps isn’t just a popular idea, it also makes sense. We already have most of the technology we need to reduce our emissions, we simply aren’t doing it fast enough. A Youth Climate Corps wouldn’t just accelerate our mitigation efforts, it would let us do it directly within our communities, building the relationships and skills to transform this province for the better.”


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