Carbon credits and renewable energy: Sask. Party, NDP, lay out environmental platforms
SASKATOON -- The Saskatchewan Party and the New Democratic Party have released their plans to battle climate change and environmental challenges, with the Sask. Party focused on reducing emissions and the NDP on creating new methods of power generation.
Former Sask. Party environment minister Dustin Duncan said in the face of the carbon tax challenge, the Sask. Party is rolling out its made-in-Saskatchewan Prairie Resilience program, aimed at reducing the amount of emissions by 12 million tonnes by 2030.
“What we said to industry in Saskatchewan is we wanted to develop a program that would see real reductions in emissions while also protecting the economy, protecting jobs and protecting the ability for exporters in Saskatchewan to be able to compete against the global competition that they face. Whether oil potash, uranium or agriculture,” Duncan said.
The Prairie Resilience program measures the output of its heavy emitters emitting a minimum of 25,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases per year. Duncan said the Sask Party’s plan helps industries find ways of reducing those emissions by investing in new technology to reduce emissions or buying carbon credit offsets from agriculture producers or other industries in Saskatchewan.
According to the Sask Party website, the market-based program will provide carbon offset credits to a project developer who uses approved methodologies to reduce, remove or sequester GHG emissions from the atmosphere.
These credits can then be sold to organizations seeking to comply with the regulations and account for their own emissions. The offset program will be designed to provide incentives for developing clean technologies, renewable energy and sustainable practices.
Trent Wotherspoon with the NDP said if elected, his party would focus on developing more renewable energy projects, with the goal of 50 per cent non-emitting electricity by 2030 and 100 per cent emission free electricity by 2050.
In its Renew Saskatchewan plan, the NDP said it would work with SaskPower to move the needle forward on Saskatchewan being a leader in geothermal power production.
“As part of that plan we’re also committed to energy efficient retrofits across Saskatchewan and working with our Crown corporation to support that,” Wotherspoon said. “This is an area that would create thousands of jobs along with renewable power generation and allow us to reduce emissions in very affordable and practical ways.”
Duncan pointed to the The Sask Party’s current renewable energy projects including work on its second 10-megawatt utility scale solar project and its 200-megawatt wind farm in Assinaboia.
Saskatchewan voters go to the polls Oct. 26.