The Government of Saskatchewan has released performance standards for more than 40 Saskatchewan industrial facilities to help bring down total greenhouse gas emissions.
This comes days before the provinces are to submit their climate change plans to the federal government to be reviewed and if they aren’t accepted, there would be a carbon tax.
Environment Minister, Dustin Duncan, says Saskatchewan won’t be submitting its Prairie Resilience Climate Change Strategy but they will advise the federal government on their progress.
The standards expected to be achieved by most industries are a 5 per cent reduction of emissions by 2030, 10 per cent for refining and upgrading and 15 per cent for upstream oil and gas – combustion only.
These are in addition to previously announced reduction goals of 40 per cent for electricity generation and methane from upstream oil and gas.
To offset any challenges these industries have, they can buy offset credits, best performance credits or buy into a technology fund, but Duncan says there will be no carbon tax.
Saskatchewan’s NDP Environment Critic says although the provincial government says it won’t accept the federal government’s carbon tax plan where provinces would be taxed if they don’t reach target, the Sask Party government has come up with what is essentially a carbon pricing plan of its own with compliance options like offset credits for purchase, best performance credits and a technology fund.
David Forbes says if a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions isn’t submitted to the federal government, Saskatchewan could receive a carbon tax whether the province wants it or not.
He adds that it is still unclear what the price of any penalties would be if industries don’t meet their reduction goals by 2030, and it’s unclear what the penalties would be based on.
Forbes says without cooperation with the federal government, Saskatchewan is missing out on $62-million in funding to help toward the emissions reduction goal.