Photo: Western Canadian provinces vying for

Alberta hopes to reduce reliance on fossil fuels with its Climate Leadership Plan. (Credit: Jeff Wallace via Flickr)

Over the past few months, we've seen a flurry of activity from subnational governments regarding strategies to reduce carbon emissions and drive investment in renewable energy. Almost in unison, Canada's two westernmost provinces launched efforts to strengthen plans to tackle climate change — B.C. with its Climate Action Plan 2.0 and Alberta with the Climate Leadership Plan.

Each effort has involved lengthy public consultations, and the David Suzuki Foundation has provided recommendations on how to achieve emissions reductions goals and solicited feedback from the public. On August 12, Foundation climate change policy analyst Kyle Aben hosted a public webinar to guide participants through the B.C. government's online consultation process, and on September 8 and 15 Aben attended closed-door meetings in Alberta with industry and government leaders to brainstorm a low carbon path for Canada's highest-emitting province.

These efforts have proved worthwhile. Alberta's town hall consultations were well-attended and the Foundation received positive feedback in both provinces.

The United Nations climate negotiations in Paris are fast approaching, and subnational governments are taking their roles in these talks seriously. Many experts believe that even if national governments fail to reach an agreement to limit global temperature rise to 2 C, the same goal (or at least significant progress) could be made by lower levels of government working together to cut emissions.

The David Suzuki Foundation will continue to be actively involved as B.C. and Alberta develop specific policies and other provinces follow their lead.