As global climate talks kicked off in Paris on Monday, discussion about Canada's energy mix was taking place closer to home, in the province that is leading the way.
The Royal Canadian Geographical Society and Canadian Geographic Education brought their Energy Production and Transmission giant floor map, produced in conjunction with the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta in Edmonton for a day of interactive learning about Canadian energy, and to highlight the Energy IQ program. (Energy IQ is an educational, curriculum‐linked website that provides teachers with thoroughly vetted content designed to help them introduce the topic to their students).
In the morning, 300 local students went on a cross-country adventure on the map and asked questions about the future of energy in Canada.
Lorelei Campbell, a Grade 6 teacher at George P. Nicholson School in Edmonton, said her students enjoyed the opportunity to explore Canada's geography and its energy infrastructure in a physical way.
"They get sort of the kinesthetic view of Canada," Campbell said of the map. "They can move around, they can explore ... looking at the various pipelines and energy generating plants. It's fantastic."
Later in the evening, it was time for Alberta's leaders to take to the map for an interactive look at where their province fits into Canada's energy story.
Last week, the Alberta government unveiled an aggressive plan to combat climate change, including a carbon tax, new emissions caps on oilsands production and a pledge to phase out coal by 2030.