CLIMATE CHANGE: SK Strategy - off to Court!

CLIMATE CHANGE: SK Strategy - off to Court!

Postby Oscar » Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:14 am

Prairie Resilience: A Made-in-Saskatchewan Climate Change Strategy

[ ... nge-policy ]

Saskatchewan’s comprehensive climate change strategy is designed to make Saskatchewan more resilient to the climatic, economic and policy impacts of climate change.

The strategy, titled Prairie Resilience: A Made-in-Saskatchewan Climate Change Strategy, focuses on the principles of readiness and resilience to support the province and its people, curb greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and prepare for changing conditions – such as extreme weather, drought or wildfire – without a tax.

The strategy proposes actions in key areas, including:

•natural systems;
•physical infrastructure;
•economic sustainability;
• community preparedness; and
•measuring, monitoring and reporting.

Our climate change strategy is about protecting our people and communities as much as it is about working with industry and others to reduce emissions here in Saskatchewan. This plan is broader and bolder than a single policy such as carbon tax, and will achieve better and more meaningful outcomes over the long term.” - Environment Minister Dustin Duncan

Next steps

The next step is to move from strategy to action. The following milestones include time for consultation on the exact regulatory standards to be put in place, time to put the appropriate structures in place to implement the system, and planning to begin implementation on January 1, 2019.

1. Engage on the strategy: Release strategy for comment and consultation.
2. Proclaim or amend enabling legislation.
3. Release additional documents for consultation.
4. Refine the plan: Hold consultations to refine the plan and develop the standards.
5. Release regulations and guidance documents: Introduce resilience measures and regulatory standards.
6. Establish reporting structures.
7. Begin implementation.

In this document, we’ve outlined the province’s strategic direction, with the aim of kicking off a new, more comprehensive conversation on how Saskatchewan is preparing for climate change. Consultations will strengthen our ability to apply appropriate and valuable insight so we can adopt a plan that fits the needs and characteristics of our province.

Learn more:

- download the full document [ ... rategy.pdf ]
- summary [ ... x%2011.pdf ]
- news release [ ... e-strategy ]

About climate change

Climate change is a long-term shift in temperature and weather patterns. Since the industrial age, the burning of fossil fuels has resulted in increased concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide in our atmosphere. These emissions are some of the greenhouse gases (GHGs) that contribute to increasing global temperatures.

Countries are coming together to recognize that human activity and industry contribute to an increasing concentration of GHGs in the atmosphere and are adopting various strategies to deal with the implications of climate change.

Saskatchewan acknowledges the science-based reality of climate change and joined other provinces and the Government of Canada at the Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP 21) in Paris in December 2015. An international agreement involving 195 countries was struck with a plan to limit climate-related increases in temperature to two degrees Celsius through continued GHG reductions. Canada’s stated goal is to reduce GHG emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

Our province's GHG emissions were 75 million tonnes in 2015, according to Canada's National Inventory Report 2017 - a reduction of 0.7 per cent from 2014. This represents approximately 10 per cent of Canada's emissions, which are approximately two per cent of global emissions.

Saskatchewan's climate change approach

Saskatchewan's White Paper on Climate Change, released October 2016, outlined the principles of the province's approach to climate change, including a focus on both mitigation and adaptation in response to the challenges by a changing climate.

This white paper emphasized that effective approaches to GHG mitigation stem from technological innovation. Further, efforts must be made to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Taken together, both approaches form a practical long-term strategy for managing this issue and balancing environmental and economic goals.

Following the White Paper, Saskatchewan is developing its own plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while minimizing costs to industry and households. Our resilience and readiness-based strategy will reduce greenhouse gas emissions more effectively than a carbon tax, while addressing the complex challenges presented by a changing climate.

Saskatchewan is already expanding the use of renewable energy sources, investing in innovative technologies such as carbon capture and storage, and making good decisions in the management of our forests, fields and waterways.

•Saskatchewan is working on reducing its GHG emissions. SaskPower deployed carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology at its Boundary Dam Power Station south of Estevan, which is designed to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions of power production by up to a million tonnes annually. Since it began operations in October 2014, the process has captured more than 1.5 million tonnes of CO2; that’s the equivalent of 350,000 vehicles taken off Saskatchewan roads. This technology can be applied to other countries, such as China and India, which are heavily dependent upon coal-fired electricity generation. Thousands of coal plants are in development around the world, and dozens of countries are evaluating various CCS technologies to reduce the carbon footprint of their power production.

•SaskPower has also committed to increasing its target for renewable-energy generation capacity from 25 per cent to 50 per cent by 2030. This will reduce GHG emissions by approximately 40 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. This ambitious goal will be achieved by a major expansion in wind power, augmented by other renewable-energy sources (i.e., solar, biomass, geothermal, hydro, and demand-side management) along with a greater emphasis on natural-gas generation as the cleanest burning fossil fuel. Although our footprint is relatively small, at 0.2 per cent of world emissions, we have chosen to be leaders in one of the main GHG abatement technologies used to address this problem.

•Work is also being done to explore how reductions in GHGs might be achieved in the oil and gas industry, another large contributor to Saskatchewan’s GHG emissions. Finding a balance between substantive reductions and the viability of industries that are critical to the wellbeing of Saskatchewan residents remains a priority.

•The capacity of the province to absorb carbon, through agriculture and forest land management practices or by other means, plays an important part in balancing GHG-emitting activities. Understanding ways in which carbon can be stored, and encouraging those practices, is key to successful carbon reduction goals.

•Finally, given the small amount of GHG emissions Saskatchewan produces relative to the world, adaptive measures are also necessary to prepare for changing climatic conditions. Taking action to improve infrastructure in the event of more severe floods, fires and other climatic extremes is critical.

Additional Info:

•Find out how other ministries and government agencies are contributing to greenhouse gas reduction.

[ ... ate-change ]

•Remember, you can also take personal action on climate change by following these steps.
[ ... -emissions ]

Related Items

SaskPower - Capturing Carbon and the Worlds Attention - (Undated)
[ ... attention/ ]

SaskPower - Our Electricity Supply Options - (Undated)
[ ... ly_options ]
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Postby Oscar » Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:17 am

Saskatchewan climate plan a half-hearted attempt at progress

[ ... c.facebook ]

Pembina Institute reacts to the release of Saskatchewan’s Prairie Resilience climate plan
[ ... nge-policy ]

December 4, 2017

OTTAWA — Erin Flanagan, federal policy director at the Pembina Institute, made the following statement in response to the release of Saskatchewan’s climate plan:

“According to Saskatchewan’s new climate change strategy, the province will target emissions reductions from large industry and will accelerate efforts to adapt to the impacts of climate change. While this might sound like significant progress from past plans, the strategy released today has too many holes to be a credible— or convincing — approach to combatting climate change.

"Saskatchewan has confirmed it will introduce a form of carbon pricing for large emitters, but has avoided an economy-wide approach necessary to drive further emissions reductions.

“Saskatchewan’s move towards output based allocations could be an important tool to reduce emissions, however concerns remain: the strategy appears to exempt the province’s oil and gas and electricity sectors, does not explicitly state the price at which the program will begin, and doesn’t outline a process to determine sector-specific emissions performance standards. Further detail on these items is essential to understanding the overall effectiveness of this approach.

“Saskatchewan wrongly characterizes the pan-Canadian framework as unilateral in its approach to carbon pricing. In fact, jurisdictions have three modes of compliance with the national benchmark: jurisdictions can implement a carbon tax like in British Columbia, a carbon levy and performance-based emissions system like in Alberta, or a cap-and-trade system like in Ontario and Quebec. Unfortunately, the model proposed by Saskatchewan today falls short of this benchmark.

“Saskatchewan is Canada’s fourth largest emitter in absolute terms, and is the country’s largest emitter on a per-capita basis. We encourage the province to complement today’s strategy by outlining an economy-wide emissions target, and further detailing a plan to cap overall emissions in line with Canada’s commitments under the Paris Agreement.” -30-


Erin Flanagan
Program Director, Federal Policy

Kelly O’Connor
Communications Lead


Blog: Time for Premier Brad Wall to focus on carbon price implementation: Q&A with University of Ottawa law professor Nathalie Chalifour (May 2017)

[ ]

Reacts: Pembina reacts to Saskatchewan climate plan (Oct. 2016)
[ ... imate-plan ]

Op-ed: Premier Brad Wall’s dangerous misdirection on climate change: False solutions pose risk to Canadian economy and global progress (October 2016)
[ ... -fallacies ]

Report: Race to the Front (September 2016)
[ ]
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Postby Oscar » Fri Dec 08, 2017 10:23 am

Interim response to the provincial government’s “climate strategy”

[ https://climatejusticesaskatoon.wordpre ... -strategy/ ]

by Dr. Mark Bigland-Pritchard December 6, 2017 

(markbiglandpritchard #skpoliadaptation, Carbon Pricing, climate strategy, mitigation, Sask Party )

On Monday (Dec 4, 2017), Environment Minister Dustin Duncan announced the Saskatchewan government’s much-awaited climate strategy, entitled “Prairie Resilience”. [ ... nge-policy ] We find it something of an anticlimax – a remix of old ideas with no truly new initiatives. There are some positive elements within it, but for the most part it demonstrates a distressing lack of commitment to addressing the climate crisis.

General comments

1. All climate policy should recognise:

•that there is a carbon budget within which the global community must stay in order to avoid unmanageable resilience-proof climate change;
•that, in order to stay within that budget, all jurisdictions have a responsibility to reduce emissions so as to reach net zero in a matter of decades; but that the onus is particularly on wealthy industrialised high-emitting societies such as Saskatchewan;
•that carbon budgets have shrunk so far that it is unlikely that we could meet them without transformative change; and this is particularly true of those jurisdictions which have done little or nothing to address the climate crisis during the three decades that we have had sufficient scientific certainty to act.

The official government document, and Mr. Duncan’s statements, at no point show any understanding of the scientifically-determined carbon budget, of the challenge which it sets us, or of the importance of international equity both morally and practically.

2. The document is extremely vague. It is full of language such as “investigating the feasibility”, “explore additional… products and services”, “determine the viability”, “policies will be explored”, etc. Even where there is a definite commitment to “introduce regulations” or “implement standards”, there is no indication as to what those regulations or standards might be. This lack of detail – a full year since publication of the federal Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change, nearly two years since signing the Vancouver Declaration, and over ten years since the current administration first came into office – is deeply concerning.

3. The government frames its “strategy” in terms of “resilience”, and uses this framing to downplay mitigation measures (i.e. reducing our contribution to climate change) in favour of adaptation (i.e. coping better with its impacts). While adaptation is also vitally important, the use of this framing amounts to misdirection, given the lack of substance in both categories but especially in the mitigation portfolio. Furthermore, it puts lives and livelihoods at risk in its failure to recognise that, at the global average temperatures to which we will be heading if all jurisdictions approach mitigation in a similar way, there will be no realistic chance of successful adaptation. (A related concern: Combine this emphasis on adaptation with Premier Wall’s well-publicised call a year ago for federal funds to be redirected away from support for adaptation in climate change impacted low-income countries, and we see at the very least a serious case of cognitive dissonance.)

4. A major sign of government negligence is the lack of any firm emissions targets – let alone any indications as to how to achieve them. Targets are an essential element in developing a pathway to a zero-net-carbon society. Further evidence of negligence is the lack of benchmarking, whether against acknowledged standards or against other jurisdictions’ best practice – and, associated with this, the lack of quantitative data or evidence to back up claims. The government has not shown how each of the measures it advocates would result in emissions reductions, nor by how much. The few numbers provided in the report are undocumented, and are mostly difficult to take seriously.

5. It is somewhat ironic that the document (rightly) states that “the conversation about climate change must be broader than carbon pricing”, when the bulk of the premier’s climate messaging over the last year – unlike that of environmental and climate-focussed groups or even of the federal government – has been about federal carbon tax proposals (and mostly in highly simplistic terms).

6. It is also worth noting that the provincial government’s refusal to cooperate with the rest of Canada in the Pan-Canadian Framework will most likely render the province ineligible for federal funding on some projects which could both reduce our carbon footprint and create jobs. We should, for example, be seeking federal support for enhancing the electrical interconnection between Saskatchewan and Manitoba, and for developing a strong network of fast charge stations for electric vehicles.

7. A serious climate plan would seek to take advantage of the massive employment potential and investment possibilities in green energy options – surely an important element in the resilience of our communities. This is a matter of vital social and economic importance, and yet is not mentioned in the report.

Some Specifics

1. Both because of the shrinking carbon budget and because of the health impacts of a number of non-carbon emissions, it is important that we plan a rapid but orderly exit from coal-fired power. Instead of acknowledging this, the government remains firmly attached to carbon capture and storage – a technology which has proved both unreliable and (as SaskPower management have recently come close to acknowledging publicly) unacceptably expensive. CCS would be inadequate as an emissions reduction technique even if it were not being used to increase emissions elsewhere through enhanced oil recovery. We should instead be planning a rapid but orderly shift to a 100% renewables-based electricity grid, learning from state-of-the-art international research and from the experience so far of countries such as Scotland, Denmark and Germany.

2. The transport strategy is helpful at the margins. However, three important policy options capable of reducing emissions are neglected:

•public transit conceived as a public service,
•developing a strong infrastructure network for electric vehicles – especially a province-wide network of charging stations – either through support of the private sector or through direct public sector investment, and
•using SGI rates to provide incentives for fuel-efficient options and disincentives for gas-guzzling.

3. Requiring compliance with building codes is a good start – if overdue. The document is correct to recognise the early work done in Saskatchewan on energy-efficient building design. However, things have moved on internationally since then, and advances in northern Europe are now making their way back to Saskatchewan, with the construction this year of houses in Saskatoon compliant with the much tougher Passivhaus standard. This shows that there is definite potential for moving rapidly to more rigorous building energy codes in future. Preparations should be put in place to do so.

4. Large industrial emitters account for about one-tenth of emissions, once electricity generation and upstream oil and gas are excluded (as appears to be the government’s intention). While the output-based performance standards proposed by government for this sector are a useful tool, much more is needed to actually reduce emissions. That this is possible is shown by success in reducing emissions from diverse industrial subsectors in a number of European countries through a combination of subsector-specific regulation and carbon pricing.

5. There is no indication of any government intention to require any particular energy efficiency or emissions standards for new industrial development. Regulations to ensure best climate practice in plant design would prevent inefficient practices from being locked into the system for decades.

6. For the oil and gas sector – the largest source of emissions in Saskatchewan – nothing solid is proposed beyond a vague commitment to “develop regulations”. Furthermore, there is no commitment to statutory monitoring of fugitive emissions (venting, flaring, leaks, etc) – which account for over half of the oil and gas sector’s upstream climate impact. On this subject, it would also be helpful to know whether the Saskatchewan government is willing to cooperate federally – and how its proposal might compare with the existing relatively stringent regulations in North Dakota.

7. The Saskatchewan government has summarily dismissed the whole idea of carbon pricing. We are, by contrast, confident that it is possible to design a system which works for Saskatchewan’s economy while also reducing emissions. This requires a willingness to think carefully through options, to listen to expert advice, and to consult more widely than has so far been done. In several sectors, carbon pricing could drive efficiency improvements and hence competitiveness. More generally, it would be wise to build, in tandem, a plan for economic diversification, encouraging the growth of low-emissions sectors. Carbon pricing is just one tool in the box, but it is a tool which can leverage change in most sectors, and will be particularly effective if combined with the removal of logistical and administrative barriers to low-carbon and zero-carbon options (and, in some cases, with government-supported arrangements for low-interest financing of emissions reduction strategies).

8. While it is important to develop and encourage carbon sequestration in soils and forests, policy in this area should be based on full-system analysis which accounts for all sources and sinks of greenhouse gases. The government’s current position systematically fails to do so. Pulse crops do indeed fix nitrogen in the soil, and so could offer a benefit. This benefit, however, is only realised if it results in reduced use of artificial fertilisers and hence in reduced nitrous oxide emissions from soil (and also in reduced fossil gas combustion at the fertiliser factories). The reality is that artificial fertiliser use has actually increased over the last two decades despite the expansion of pulse crop planting. As regards soil and forestry, the figures which matter are the net increase in annual carbon sequestration, not the absolute size of the annual sink. Using the wrong parameters constitutes misleading the public. In any case, NRCan data shows that forest fires and insect impacts have led to our managed forests being a net source of carbon over 7 of the past 10 years – a trend liable to intensify as climate change progresses. And if government is really serious about soil carbon sinks it should be reconsidering its decision to sell off community pastures.

What is needed now

We therefore do not believe that Mr. Duncan’s “made-in-Saskatchewan climate change strategy” can achieve its declared goal of “prairie resilience”, nor significantly reduce the province’s disproportionately high emissions footprint. The province of Saskatchewan is capable of making a much more effective climate strategy than this – and we know that there are people willing to do so. Design of such a strategy needs to start from an understanding of the urgency to which the science is pointing, set firm targets and establish ambitious and precisely articulated multi-decade plans.

CJS (Climate Justice Saskatoon) is therefore interested in working together with others who are committed to evidence-based policy and to principles of fairness (including both full recognition of Indigenous rights and creation of good clean jobs in a just transition), to build viable alternative plans.

Over the next few months we will be putting forward both positive proposals and more detailed comments on government policy as it develops.
~ ~ ~
Thanks to Hayley Carlson and Justin Fisher for some of the points included in this posting
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Postby Oscar » Fri Dec 08, 2017 4:30 pm

Saskatchewan’s new Climate Change Strategy: reckless endangerment

[ ... -strategy/ ]

December 8, 2017 by Darrin Qualman

[ NOTE: See GRAPH on original URL above ]

Saskatchewan’s greenhouse gas emissions are extremely high: 66 tonnes per person per year. What if Saskatchewan was a country, instead of a province? If that were the case, we’d find that no country on Earth had per-capita emissions higher than ours.

This week’s graph compares per-capita greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Saskatchewan to emissions in a variety of countries. The units are tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-eq). The data is for the years 2014 and 2015, the most recent years for which data is available. The graph shows that Saskatchewan’s emissions are higher than those of petro-states such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar and manufacturing nations such as China and Germany.

Our world-topping per-person emissions form part of the context for this week’s release of the Government of Saskatchewan’s climate strategy: Prairie Resilience: A Made-in-Saskatchewan Climate Change Strategy. [ ... rategy.pdf ] The report isn’t really a plan of action—more an attempt at public relations and a collection of re-announcements. Most critically, it lacks a specific set of measures that can, taken together, enable citizens and businesses in this province to reduce our GHG emissions by 30 percent by 2030. I’ll review some of the key points of the document, but first just a bit more context.

In Paris in 2015, the world’s governments reaffirmed a target of limiting global temperature increases to 2 degrees Celsius (relative to pre-industrial levels). However, more and more scientists are warning that 2 degrees is not a “safe level,” and that temperature increases of this magnitude will create floods, droughts, storms, and deaths in many parts of the world. But a 2 degree rise is better than 4 or 5 degrees.

So that’s the first point: our 2 degree target is weak. To this we’ve added inadequate emission-reduction commitments. In the lead-up to the Paris climate talks the world’s governments each submitted specific emission-reduction commitments. Canada committed to cut this country’s emissions by 30 percent (below 2005 levels) by 2030. Other nations made similar pledges. But here’s the troubling part: When you add up all those emissions-reduction commitments you find that they put the world on track, not for 2 degrees of warming, but for 3.2 degrees (UN Emissions Gap Report 2017) [ ... n%E2%80%A6 ]. So this is the context for recent climate change strategies from Saskatchewan and other provinces: These plans amount to inadequate provincial contributions to an inadequate national commitment to a weak international target.

One final bit of context: not only are per-capita emissions in Saskatchewan among the highest in the world, they continue to increase: up 65 percent in a generation (1990 to 2015) [NOTE: Spread Sheet LINK is in original article ]. Some will want to excuse our province: it’s cold here. But our per-capita emissions are almost twice as high as those in the Northwest Territories, nine times as high as in the Yukon, and four times as high as those in neighbouring Manitoba. Others will want to talk about the fact that Saskatchewan is a resource-producing and agricultural province; our prosperity depends upon our ability to keep farming and mining and producing oil and gas. There’s a grain of truth to some parts of that idea, but it simply cannot be the case that “prosperity” requires the emission of 66 tonnes of GHGs per person. Citizens in every nation wants prosperity. But if everyone in the world felt entitled to emit GHGs at the same rate as us, there would soon be no Saskatchewan as we know it. There would be a parched desert here, and submerged cities worldwide. In a climate- and carbon-constrained world, prosperity simply cannot require Saskatchewan-sized emissions.

So, with this for context, what does the Saskatchewan Climate Change Strategy propose? The government has re-committed to increasing the production of low-emission electricity—to the “expansion of renewable energy sources up to 50 per cent of generating capacity” by 2030. This is good news and we must ensure that this happens, well before 2030, if possible. But careful readers might note three things in the preceding commitment: 1. the words “up to.” 2. generating capacity is not the same as output; because of the intermittent nature of wind power, for example, 50 percent of capacity will not equate to 50 percent of production. 3. electricity provides less than 30 percent of Saskatchewan’s total energy demand. Thus, moving to 50 percent renewable/low-emission sources for electricity leaves 80+ percent of Saskatchewan’s energy needs filled by high-emission fossil fuels.

The Climate Change Strategy includes the creation of a technology fund. But this is not new. The government passed legislation in 2010 requiring large emitters to pay into a green technology fund. That law was never put into force.

Predictably, the Strategy rejects a carbon tax, arguing that such a tax “would make it more difficult for our province to respond effectively to climate change because a simple tax will not result in the innovations required to actually reduce emissions.”

The Strategy also includes a vague mix of commitments to reporting, potential future measures to reduce methane emissions, emission-intensity targets, and offset trading. Think of this as a cap-and-trade system without a cap.

The Strategy includes some positive steps but fails to deliver what we need: a comprehensive, detailed plan that will result in a 30 percent reduction in emissions by 2030. This failing is especially evident when one takes into account probable emissions increases that may result from economic growth, planned increases in energy production, and increased use of agricultural inputs such as nitrogen fertilizer. (Applied tonnage of N fertilizer has doubled since 2002.) [ ... able&csid= ]

Overall, the Strategy steers away from discussions of emissions reduction and focuses instead on the idea of “resilience.” That word appears 44 times in 12 pages. The report defines resilience as “the ability to cope with, adapt to, and recover from stress and change.” But resilience—coping, adapting, and recovering—may simply prove impossible in the face of the magnitude of climate change that will scorch our province under a business-as-usual scenario. The high-emission, fossil-fuel-dependent future assumed in the Climate Change Strategy would raise the average temperature of this province by 6 to 8 degrees Celsius (sources available on request). Climate disruption of that magnitude vetoes adaptation and mocks resilience.

And even if we in Saskatchewan could find ways to adapt and make ourselves resilient in the face of the blows that may be inflicted by a hotter, stormier, more damaging climate, we must ask: Will poor and vulnerable populations around the world be able to make themselves “resilient” to the climate change that our emissions trigger? The global proliferation of Saskatchewan-level emissions would cause cities to disappear under the waves, food-growing regions to bake and wither, and tropical storms to become more numerous and damaging. What is our ethical position if we are among the greatest contributors to these calamities, yet all we offer affected populations is the advice to make themselves more resilient?

A real plan is possible. Emission reductions of 30 percent by 2030 are attainable at costs that Saskatchewan can afford. Holding global temperature increases to 2 degrees also remains possible. All this can be accomplished if governments act with courage and integrity, rapidly and effectively, and in the interests of citizens and the future.

Graph sources:

Saskatchewan and other provinces: Environment and Climate Change Canada, Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators: Greenhouse Gas Emissions.
[ ... ons_EN.pdf ]

Other nations: World Resources Institute, CAIT Climate Data Explorer.
[ ... tes-unfccc ]
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Postby Oscar » Thu Apr 26, 2018 8:55 am

Province Challenging Federal Government's Ability to Impose a Carbon Tax

[ ... n-tax-case ]

Released on April 25, 2018

Today, the Government of Saskatchewan launched a constitutional reference case in the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal to challenge the federal government’s ability to impose a carbon tax on the province.

The government is asking the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal to answer a clear question on the constitutionality of the legislation the federal government has introduced to impose the carbon tax.

The question is:

The Greenhouse Gas Pollution Pricing Act was introduced into Parliament on March 28, 2018 as Part 5 of Bill C-74. If enacted, will this Act be unconstitutional in whole or in part?

“We do not believe the federal government has the constitutional right to impose the Trudeau carbon tax on Saskatchewan, against the wishes of the government and people of Saskatchewan,” Premier Scott Moe said. “We have a made-in-Saskatchewan plan to reduce emissions and fight climate change, and that plan does not include a job-killing carbon tax on Saskatchewan families.”

Justice Minister Don Morgan said the government’s constitutional lawyers believe the federal carbon tax legislation can be successfully challenged because it imposes a carbon tax on some provinces but not others based on how each province has chosen to exercise its own legislative jurisdiction.

“This runs contrary to the principle of federalism, which is one of the bedrocks of our constitutional division of powers, because it fails to respect the sovereignty and autonomy of the provinces with respect to matters under their jurisdiction,” Morgan said. “Simply put, we do not believe the federal government has the right to impose a tax on one province but not others just because they don’t like our climate change plan.”

Under the constitution, each level of government is sovereign within its own legislative realm. Provinces are not subsidiaries of the federal government. Provincial governments have the authority to set policy in areas of provincial jurisdiction, and the federal government does not have the right to override that provincial authority.

The Government of Saskatchewan released Prairie Resilience: A Made-in-Saskatchewan Climate Change Strategy in December 2017. The strategy includes the development of sector-specific output-based performance standards on large emitting facilities; increasing efficiencies in buildings by adopting the 2015 National Building Code; creating a freight strategy to improve delivery times, reducing fuel and increasing efficiency; and developing a climate resiliency model to help ensure communities are able to adapt and mitigate against the effects of climate change.

“Our made-in-Saskatchewan climate change strategy is broader and bolder than a carbon tax,” Environment Minister Dustin Duncan said. “Our plan to reduce emissions from the electricity sector by 40 per cent and methane emissions from the oil and gas sector by 40 to 45 per cent by 2030 shows we are serious about tackling climate change. Our Saskatchewan story also includes our agriculture industry that sequesters nearly 12 million tonnes of CO2 annually and carbon capture at Boundary Dam 3 that has prevented two million tonnes of carbon dioxide from entering our atmosphere. Saskatchewan is the solution, not the problem.”

“Our government will continue to stand up for Saskatchewan against the Trudeau government’s costly and ineffective carbon tax,” Moe said. -30-

For more information, contact:

Jim Billington, Executive Council, Regina
Phone: 306-787-0425
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