Saskatchewan’s climate plan lacks carbon tax

Saskatchewan has departed from the approaches of neighboring provinces and the government of Canada with a climate-change strategy lacking carbon taxation. Environment Minister Dustin Duncan introduced a plan he called “broader and bolder than a single policy such as a carbon tax.” He said it will “achieve better and more meaningful outcomes over the long term.”

Saskatchewan has departed from the approaches of neighboring provinces and the government of Canada with a climate-change strategy lacking carbon taxation.

Environment Minister Dustin Duncan introduced a plan he called “broader and bolder than a single policy such as a carbon tax.” He said it will “achieve better and more meaningful outcomes over the long term.”

The strategy includes performance standards for large facilities emitting greenhouse gases, including those in the oil and gas industry.

“These standards will be developed in consultation with industry throughout 2018 and will recognize actions already taken by industry to reduce emissions,” the government said in a press release.

Compliance options for industrial emitters include improving facilities to reduce emissions intensity, purchasing carbon offsets, using best-performance credits, using a market mechanism outlined in the Paris Climate Agreement, and contributing to a technology fund.

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall has strongly criticized a federal framework for climate policy that emphasizes carbon pricing.

Saskatchewan’s oil production of 460,000 b/d is second-highest among Canadian provinces behind Alberta’s 2.6 million b/d.

Alberta’s climate policy includes carbon taxation and cap on emissions from oil sands work. It has received blame for some of a recent slump in oil sands investment.

Dustin said Saskatchewan’s plan will enable the province’s industries to grow “while staying competitive on the world stage.”

More in Government