Saskatchewan launches climate change plan

Regina, Saskatchewan (GLOBE-Net) – The Government of Saskatchewan has announced a new energy and climate change plan designed to cut the province’s greenhouse gas emissions by 32 per cent by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050.

The Saskatchewan Energy and Climate Change Plan includes targets to:

  • Stabilize the level of greenhouse gas emissions in Saskatchewan by 2010;
  • Reduce emissions to 32 per cent below current (2004) levels; and
  • Reduce emissions by 80 per cent from current levels by 2050, a decrease of 55 tonnes per capita.

According to the government, the 22 tonnes per person reduction required by 2020 represents the largest per capita reduction in Canada.

The plan is built on five components, or “emissions reductions wedges”, borrowing from a concept proposed by two Princeton University researchers under which emissions reductions are broken into manageable chunks.

For Saskatchewan, the five “wedges” are: conservation and efficiency; carbon dioxide capture and storage in the oil and gas and electricity sectors; increased use of renewable energy, including wind, solar power and hydrogen, and further development of 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 forests and soils.

Specific initiatives to be developed include:

  • Making all of SaskPower’s new and replacement electricity generation facilities either emissions-free or fully offset by emission credits;
  • A conservation program to reduce SaskPower’s electricity load by 300 megawatts by 2017;
  • Work with industry to develop E-85 ethanol corridors in the Province, and work with all provinces and the federal government to create an E-85 Corridor across Canada;
  • A 1.4 billion litre biofuels industry to utilize our natural advantages;
  • A Government and Crown vehicle purchase policy that requires all vehicles to be hybrid-electric, alternative or flex fuel, or within the top 20 per cent efficiency in their class;
  • Establishment of agricultural soil sinks;
  • Reforestation of 20,000 hectares by 2017;
  • Work with industry to prepare a report and recommendations on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from flaring and venting associated with oil and gas production;
  • Build on the Petroleum Technology Research Centre and the International Test Centre for Carbon Dioxide Capture in carbon capture and storage;
  • A province-wide climate change adaptation strategy;
  • Establish a Bio-Products Centre of Excellence;
  • A Technology Fund to receive voluntary payments from Saskatchewan industry as a method of complying with industry’s mandatory emissions reduction obligations under the federal climate change plan;
  • A performance standard of at least 30 per cent greater than the Model National Energy Code for all new government buildings with significant energy consumption; and
  • Extension of the Saskatchewan EnerGuide for Houses Program and the Saskatchewan Home Energy Improvement Program to 2011.

The 2007-08 provincial Budget contains $48 million to support various climate change initiatives, and Crown Corporations will spend an additional $49 million. Saskatchewan also received $44.4 million from the federal government as part of a trust fund to support provincial and territorial projects to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollutants.

Saskatchewan will join 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. The participating Western U.S. states and British Columbia are working to design a market-based multi-sector mechanism, most likely an emissions trading mechanism, to achieve a regional GHG reduction goal.

Based on Environment Canada’s Inventory of Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Saskatchewan generated 69.1 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent in 2004, or 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

For More Information: Government of Saskatchewan

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