Provincial Environment Minister Dustin Duncan says the province is expanding emission limits based on production for facilities like potash mines and pulp mills—facilities that generate 11 percent of the province’s emissions.
As part of the made-in-Saskatchewan Prairie Resilience strategy, the government has developed new output-based performance standards that will apply to more than 40 Saskatchewan industrial facilities. These measures are in addition to previously announced reductions in electricity generation (40 per cent) and methane from upstream oil and gas (40 per cent).
In a statement, Duncan says ““Reductions in these three key areas will reduce emissions by 12 megatonnes of greenhouse gases each year by 2030. Our bold and innovative system-wide strategy is designed to responsibly and tangibly reduce emissions without the imposition of an economy-wide carbon tax.”
Saskatchewan’s performance standards will increase over an established schedule from 2019 to 2030, cumulatively reducing GHG emissions by 5.3 million tonnes. The sector-specific performance standards are expected to achieve the following emissions intensity reductions:
Potash, coal and uranium mining (5 per cent)
Iron and steel mills (5 per cent)
Fertilizer manufacturing (5 per cent)
Pulp mills (5 per cent)
Ethanol production (5 per cent)
Refining and upgrading (10 per cent)
Upstream oil and gas – combustion only (15 per cent)
Saskatchewan facilities will be able to choose from a suite of flexible compliance options including offset credits, best performance credits and a technology fund.
The Prairie Resilience strategy is a system-wide approach that includes more than 40 commitments designed to make Saskatchewan more resilient to the effects of a changing climate. The commitments – which go beyond emissions reductions alone – span Saskatchewan’s natural systems and resources, infrastructure for electricity, transportation, homes and buildings, and community preparedness.
The opposition NDP says all this does is leaves the door open to a federally-imposed carbon tax.
Environment Critic David Forbes says it’s a little rich for the government to say it doesn’t want a carbon tax when they are allowing the federal government to impose one on the province and now they are looking at what is essentially a carbon pricing plan He also states that,as with much of the Sask. Party’s plan to reduce emissions, we still don’t know what the price of the penalties will be and what they will be based on.”