With the deadline looming from the federal government on some sort of climate change policy by 2018, the Saskatchewan government has announced its plan, which doesn't include a carbon tax.
Environment Minister Dustin Duncan says the strategy is industry-friendly. There will be flexible compliance options for the oil, gas and mining industries that will include making improvements to reduce emissions, purchasing a carbon offset, and paying into a technology fund. The offset system will add value for actions that result in carbon sequestration or reducing emissions. Farmers and ranchers won't be covered under any standard, but Duncan says they will benefit from being eligible to participate in the new offset program. The strategy includes SaskPower's previous commitment to achieve half of all electricity coming from renewable resources and reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent by 2030.
The Saskatoon Mining Association is on board with the provincial government's Climate Change Plan released today (Mon). The Association says the flexible compliance mechanisms will allow mining to continue to be a big part of Saskatchewan's economy while continuing to provide clean energy and food to the world. SMA President Pam Schwann says a carbon tax would not be palatable for the mining industry because it represents an additional direct cost for producers that international competitors aren't paying. She adds that Saskatchewan's mining operations account for 3 per cent of provincial greenhouse gas emissions.