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Climate change is a long term shift in weather patterns. Since the industrial age the burning of fossil fuels has resulted in increased concentrations of carbon dioxide and methane in our atmosphere. These types of emissions are also known as greenhouse gases (GHGs) and they contribute to increasing global temperatures.
Our province’s greenhouse gas emissions were 72.7 million tonnes in 2011 according to Environment Canada. Saskatchewan’s Climate Change Plan is designed to reduce these greenhouse gas emissions by setting annual reduction targets for industry and encouraging investment in low-carbon technologies. Saskatchewan has established a provincial target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% below 2006 levels by 2020.
To meet the provincial target, we need to reduce emissions in all sectors of our economy. Our climate change program will regulate facilities that emit more than 50,000 tonnes of GHGs annually. In addition, policy options are being developed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from other sources such as agriculture, oil and gas, transportation and municipal activities.
Source: Environment Canada National Inventory Report, 1990-2011
• Saskatchewan accounts for 10% of the national GHG emissions, with 3% of the country’s population.
• The oil and gas sector and electricity generation are the two largest sources of GHG emissions, accounting for 34% and 21% of total provincial emissions, respectively.
• Non-regulated sectors such as agriculture and transportation each account for 16% and 21% respectively of provincial GHG emissions.
• More information on Saskatchewan and Canada’s GHG emissions can be found in the 1990-2011 National Inventory Report
Policy and Regulations
Any facilities that emit more than 50,000 tonnes of GHGs annually are considered to be regulated emitters. Under The Management and Reduction of Greenhouse Gases Act (the Act), regulated emitters will be required to reduce annual GHG emissions to meet the provincial target.
Provincial Climate Change Plan
• The Act establishes the framework for achieving the provincial target of a 20% in GHG emissions from 2006 levels by 2020 while supporting environmental commitments and economic growth.
• The Act, its respective Regulations and Environmental Code Chapter are expected to be proclaimed in 2013.
• The Saskatchewan Climate Change Plan is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by setting annual reduction targets for industry and encouraging investment in low-carbon technologies.
• Under this proposed framework, compliance mechanisms such as the Technology Fund, Recognition for Early Action, Pre-Certified Investments, Emission Intensive Trade Exposed credits and carbon offsets will be established to provide flexibility for regulated emitters to meet their greenhouse gas reduction obligations.
Climate Change Consultations
• The Ministry of Environment conducted stakeholder consultations between March and July 2010 on proposed regulations for greenhouse gas emissions in the province.
• The report “Summary of Stakeholder Consultations on the Saskatchewan Climate Change Regulations” provides a comprehensive overview of issues and options identified by participants during these consultations. The report is a “what we heard” summary of the views of participants about the proposed GHG regulatory framework and does not necessarily represent the position of the Ministry of Environment on these issues. See Related Documents below for a summary report.
Industries that emit less than 50,000 tonnes of GHGs annually are considered to be non-regulated emitters. Their emissions will be reduced through policies and programs that promote adoption of low-carbon technologies, energy efficiency and conservation and renewable energy sources.
Non-regulated sectors include oil and gas production, transportation, agriculture, commercial and residential buildings, and community sources such as water and sewage infrastructure and landfills and account for more than two-thirds of provincial GHG emissions. Non-regulated sources were responsible for about 50 million tonnes of Saskatchewan GHG emissions in 2010, or 68% of total provincial emissions.
GHG abatement initiatives in non-regulated sectors will focus on negotiating performance agreements with industry, communities, and other sectors, to manage and report their GHG emissions. Performance agreements provide an effective reporting mechanism for selected non-regulated emissions under the GHG regulations.
Reducing to 20% below 2006 by 2020 was a political number selected by the Conservative Party of Canada, it is not based upon scientific necessity.