Released on June 14, 2007Saskatchewan has an aggressive new plan to address the major challenge of climate change and to continue growing its energy sector.
Premier Lorne Calvert, Industry and Resources Minister Maynard Sonntag and Environment Minister John Nilson today released the Saskatchewan Energy and Climate Change Plan. The new strategy sets ambitious targets to cut the province's greenhouse gas emissions by 32 per cent by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050.
"Our vision is of a province that is a model of innovative and sustainable energy," Calvert said. "In realizing that vision, we recognize the current strengths we have as an energy powerhouse and the responsibilities that come with that strength. While contributing to our economic prosperity and quality of life, our energy industries also generate the majority of our greenhouse gas emissions. Change has to occur and this plan demonstrates our commitment to addressing climate change, and continuing to make Saskatchewan a great place for families today and building a stronger future here for our young people."
The plan's main targets include:
- Stabilizing the level of greenhouse gas emissions in Saskatchewan by 2010;
- Reducing emissions by 22 tonnes per person by 2020, which translates to a 32 per cent reduction from current (2004) levels and represents the largest per capita reduction in Canada; and
- Reducing emissions by 80 per cent from current levels by 2050, a decrease of 55 tonnes per capita.
The plan is built on five components, or "emissions reductions wedges" to enable Saskatchewan to move from an unchecked level of emissions and meet its 2020 and 2050 targets. These wedges include:
- Conservation and efficiency measures by industry, business and homeowners;
- Carbon dioxide capture and storage measures in Saskatchewan's oil and gas industry and in the province's electricity sector;
- Increased use of renewable energy, including wind, solar power and hydrogen, and further development of Saskatchewan's ethanol and biodiesel resources;
- Reduction of methane and other emissions in the oil and gas industry, and methane and nitrous oxide emissions in the agriculture industry; and
- Creation of more natural carbon sinks in Saskatchewan's forests and soils.
The 2007-08 Budget contains $48 million to support various climate change initiatives. Crown Corporations will spend an additional $49 million. The premier announced today an additional $44.4 million over three years to fund emission reduction initiatives similar to projects that will receive support under the federal trust fund for clean air and energy efficiency projects.
The premier also noted officials in many other jurisdictions are taking action on climate change, including governors of western American states who at their Western Governors' Association meeting earlier this week discussed strategies related to renewable energy opportunities and climate change problems. Calvert attended the meeting in Deadwood, South Dakota and said Saskatchewan is joining the governors' Western Regional Climate Change Action Initiative as an observer, monitoring the work on common targets for emissions reductions, and participating where it can in discussions on shared approaches and actions to combat climate change.
"Saskatchewan has the most diverse primary energy resource base in Canada and exports nearly 90 per cent of the energy it produces," Sonntag said. "Through the stewardship of industry and government, we will reduce the environmental footprint of energy production and ensure that our economy continues to be green and prosperous."
"The Saskatchewan Energy and Climate Change Plan is about ensuring that future generations enjoy the benefits of a clean and healthy environment," Nilson said. "By working together, we will do our part to address the effects of climate change by making Saskatchewan a leader in environmental protection and the green economy."
Based on Environment Canada's Inventory of Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Saskatchewan generated 69.1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2004. This represented 9.1 per cent of total Canadian emissions. The oil and gas industry accounted for 33 per cent of Saskatchewan's annual greenhouse gas emissions. Electricity production accounted for another 24 per cent; transportation 16 per cent; and agriculture 14 per cent. The remainder of provincial emissions came from residential and commercial heating and other industries.
The Saskatchewan Energy and Climate Change Plan can be found at http://www.saskatchewan.ca/green.
For more information, contact:
Industry and Resources