Canadian Manufacturing

Saskatchewan preparing another carbon pricing plan for federal government

The province wants regulatory control over the carbon tax on fuel consumption, as well as over pricing of industrial emissions from electricity generation and natural gas transmission pipelines.

January 20, 2022   The Canadian Press

Premier Scott Moe says Saskatchewan will submit another carbon pricing plan to the federal government in the coming months.

The province’s first proposal was rejected by Ottawa last July.

Moe said in a statement on Jan. 19 that Saskatchewan is committed to replacing the federal carbon tax with its own.

The province wants regulatory control over the carbon tax on fuel consumption, as well as over pricing of industrial emissions from electricity generation and natural gas transmission pipelines, so that it can invest in reducing emissions and work toward carbon capture storage.

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That would include collaborating with heavy-emitting industries to drive greenhouse gas emissions down.

“Canada will not reach net-zero without working closely without industries and the provinces,” Moe said earlier this week during a news conference.

“This is why we have a request in with the federal government to bring the provincial control of the entire carbon taxation regime into the province, away from the federal government, so we can properly structure plans.”

Saskatchewan already has an approved carbon pricing plan for heavy emitters under an output-based performance standards program.

The Saskatchewan Party government doesn’t define it as a “carbon tax” because it gives larger industries three options to reduce emissions. They can pay into a technology fund for projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, purchase offset credits through a cap-and-trade system or meet performance standards.

Several more sectors became eligible this month under the program: chemical, wood product and mineral product manufacturing; agricultural and industrial equipment manufacturing; and, food and beverage processing.

What the province lacks is a program that regulates emissions from electricity generation and natural gas transmission, which currently fall under the federal pricing plan.

Kaeding said many large industries in Saskatchewan have plans in place to reach net-zero.

“In a lot of cases they just need some financial push or support to move to that next level of development,” he said.

“A lot of times it’s just good for government to get out of the way and … support them in whatever way we can to ensure that innovation continues.”

In 2019, the latest year for which data is available, Saskatchewan emitted nearly 75 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, said a report from Environment and Climate Change Canada.

Saskatchewan is among the top emitters in Canada along with Alberta, Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.