The Globe and Mail reports in its Friday, Feb. 26, edition that Alberta will establish an office to promote the oil industry's environmental, social and governance measures to help stem the tide of divestment from the oil sands. The Globe's Emma Graney writes that the move is an about-face for Premier Jason Kenney, who in 2019 called concerns about climate risks in the sector the "flavour of the month." The Office of the Premier will play a key role in the $1-million ESG initiative, which will be run by executive council and funded by the province's carbon tax on large emitters. Finance Minister Travis Toews said the new office will play a critical role in promoting Alberta's energy sector in North America and abroad. Opposition NDP Leader Rachel Notley said the initiative likely is too little, too late, and she doubts the government is coming to the table "with authenticity" concerning ESG goals. The oil sands have become a climate-change lighting rod in recent years, beginning when Royal Dutch Shell sold its oil sands investments in 2017. BlackRock, the world's largest money manager, HSBC, Norway's sovereign wealth fund, Deutsche Bank and French oil company Total have also struck the oil sands from their books.
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