Regina – Environment Minister Dustin Duncan introduced legislation in the Saskatchewan Legislature On Oct. 30 to facilitate key components of, and to further advance the province’s climate change strategy dubbed “Prairie Resilience.”
Bill 132, The Management and Reduction of Greenhouse Gases Amendment Act, provides the regulatory framework for performance standards to reduce industrial greenhouse gas emissions, a provincial technology fund, performance credits and offset credits.
“These amendments are an important step in fulfilling our government’s promise to reduce emissions and make Saskatchewan more resilient to the impacts of climate change,” Duncan said. “We already have an effective plan, and we are proceeding with industrial performance standards and compliance options in 2019 – especially with the federal government’s recognition of Prairie Resilience.”
In addition to performance standards and compliance options, these amendments require large emitters to register with the province, provide for administrative efficiencies in governance of the technology fund, and enable associated regulations and standards. Stakeholders, including industry and associations, provided input into the regulatory framework and indicated support for the amendments throughout summer and fall 2018.
Prairie Resilience, which the Saskatchewan Party refers to as “the province’s made-in-Saskatchewan climate change strategy,” is designed to curb greenhouse gas emissions, prepare for changing conditions, and protect people and communities through resilience and readiness. The strategy, available at www.saskatchewan.ca, proposes action in key areas including natural systems, physical infrastructure, economic sustainability and community preparedness.
NDP Leader Ryan Meili said on Oct. 30 that this is an amendment to 2009 legislation, which includes a technology fund. “This is something that was passed in 2009. The government’s had nine years to put in place and actually take action. They’ve chosen not to. Now there’s pressure to move quickly. We will certainly have a good look at what the amendments are, and decide whether or not its close enough to the original that we’re happy with it, that it can go quickly. If there are real concerns we have, we’ll debate them.”
He added they wanted a chance to look at it in detail before jumping on and voting for it.