Barry Penner Ed Stelmach Elaine Taylor Indira Samarasekera Jim Prentice John Gerretsen Ken Cheveldayoff Line Beauchamp Michael Miltenberger Richard Brown Rob Renner Stanley Struthers

top government and energy industry officials discuss climate and copenhagen at low-key banff conference.

You wouldn’t know it from the near complete lack of media coverage, but a low-key conference hosted by the Canada School of Energy and Environment (CSEE) brought some of Canada’s top government and energy industry officials to Banff this past weekend. The June 4th to 6th meeting focused on the upcoming Copenhagen Conference.

Thanks to a long-time reader, I was able to get my digital hands on a draft copy of the conference delegate program for ‘The Search for a Canada U.S. Climate Change Accord: the Road to Copenhagen and Beyond.’ The delegate package lists scheduled discussions and working sessions on topics ranging from pricing carbon, modernizing Canada’s electrical grid, harmonizing energy policy with the United States, and developing clean energy technology.

According to the draft program, conference attendees included:

– Alberta Premier Ed Stelmach (with his Chief of Staff Ron Glen and media spokesperson Tom Olsen also attended. Read Stelmach’s speech)
– Alberta Environment Minister Rob Renner
– Saskatchewan Crown Corporations Minister Ken Cheveldayoff
– Ontario Environment Minister John Gerretsen
– Quebec Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks Minister Line Beauchamp
– Manitoba Minister of Conservation Stanley Struthers
– PEI Minister of Environment, Energy, Forestry Minister Richard Brown
– BC Environment Minister Barry Penner
– Yukon Environment Minister Elaine Taylor
– NWT Environment & Natural Resources Minister Michael Miltenberger
– Federal Environment Minister Jim Prentice

– CAPP President Dave Collyer
– Suncor President Rick George
– ATCO President & CEO Nancy Southern
– Nexen President & CEO Marvin Romanow
– Alberta CCS Development Chair Jim Carter
– TransCanada Pipeline President Hal Kvisle
– EPCOR President Don Lowry

– Alberta’s Washington DC Envoy Gary Mar
– former US Ambassador to Canada David Wilkins
– University of Alberta President Indira Samarasekera
– U of A Chairman Brian Heidecker
– University of Calgary President Harvey Weingarten
– National Chief Assembly of First Nations Phil Fontaine

None of Canada’s municipal leaders or members of the media were included in the list of attendees.

By organizing a conference of this size, my source pointed out, CSEE is clearly showing that it has more clout than an average academic unit. While it’s positive to see such collaboration happening between government and energy officials, it would be interesting to discover who provided the impetus and funding to hold a conference like this. While its secretive nature is suspicious, I hope that conferences like this one will lead to more action than rhetoric when our representatives travel to Copenhagen in December 2009.