(Adds comment from expert, prime minister)
By Nia Williams and Ethan Lou
CALGARY, Alberta Dec 21 Canadian Prime Minister
Justin Trudeau said on Wednesday that U.S. President-elect
Donald Trump was "very supportive" of TransCanada Corp's
proposed Keystone XL crude oil pipeline in their first
conversation after the U.S. election.
"He actually brought up Keystone XL and indicated that he
was very supportive of it," Trudeau told an event in Calgary,
Canada's oil capital. "I'm confident that the right decisions
will be taken."
Trudeau, who too supports Keystone XL, said also he saw
"extraordinary opportunities" for his country if the United
States under Trump steps back from tackling climate change, a
move that would make Canada relatively more attractive for
Trump has said he would approve the 830,000-barrel-per-day
Alberta-U.S. Midwest Keystone XL which the Obama administration
rejected over environmental concerns.
Trump's election heartened investors in Canada's battered
energy industry, which has struggled with two years of low
prices and long-running concerns about market access. Critics of
Trudeau's Liberals say Canada's environment policies will make
the country less attractive to resource-based investment
compared to the United States.
Canada's Parliament in October ratified the Paris agreement
to curb climate-warming emissions, bolstering Trudeau's effort
to tackle them after a decade of inaction by the previous
government. This month the Liberal government introduced a
landmark national carbon price.
Trudeau, who approved two crude pipeline projects last
month, said protecting the environment need not come at the
expense of the economy, and that his green policies will create
jobs in that area.
"That's the direction the world is going in," he told
reporters. "We're much more likely to want to lead the change,
to innovate, to be at the forefront of creating solutions."
Sara Hastings-Simon, clean economy program director at
Canada's Pembina Institute, said the economic gain from
Trudeau's green push will outweigh the potential loss incurred
should they cause emissions-intensive companies to leave Canada.
"Clean tech is a very big space, so you start to look at
estimates in the trillions for what that looks like in the
future," she said. "As we come to terms increasingly with the
need to reduce the environmental impact of everything ... it's
clear that it's no longer confined to one single industry."
(Reporting by Nia Williams and Ethan Lou; Editing by Lisa Von
Ahn and James Dalgleish)