Saskatchewan Environment Minister, Dustin Duncan introduced the provincial government's climate change plan in the legislature yesterday afternoon.
“This plan is broader and bolder than a single policy such as a carbon tax and will achieve better and more meaningful outcomes over the long term,” explained Minister Dustin Duncan. “Our climate change strategy recognizes the investment and innovation that has taken place and sets out the road map for future actions. This is about protecting our people and communities as much as it is about working with industry and others to reduce emissions here in Saskatchewan.”
“Saskatchewan is blessed with natural resources that provide food, fuel and fertilizer to the world and innovative producers that supply these resources in the most environmentally responsible ways possible,” he continued. “This strategy will allow our industries to grow and continue providing these goods while staying competitive on the world stage. It will ensure Saskatchewan remains an attractive place to do business and reaffirms our commitment to reducing emissions and addressing climate change.”
Lori Carr, MLA for Estevan also supported the motion.
"This strategy is a made in Saskatchewan Climate Change action plan that meets the needs of our businesses, residents, and the economy without a carbon tax."
She added that a carbon tax is one way to reduce emissions, while the government's plan has several options that better suit industry and business.
"We're consulting with industry and working on the different types of plans we can have. A market based system for emissions performance standard for large industrial emitters and what would mean is that there would be an output based pricing system for industrial factories that emit above 25,000 tonnes per year. We could have incentives to innovate using compliance measures such as offsets, best performance credits or a technology fund. We could have direct regulations for greenhouse gas reporting in oil and gas, methane emissions or even coal fired power. So there's lot of different ways we can go about doing this."
She also mentioned that this plan would be easier on farmers.
"Farmers are one of our best sequesters of carbon. So instead of having a tax on inputs they use such as fertilizer or gas, they could actually show that they are keeping carbon in the ground going forward. So they wouldn't have that actual carbon tax that they would be paying, they could prove that they are using practices that is stopping carbon from going in the air."
The motion was passed in the legislature in Regina on Wednesday, December 6th.