The province of Saskatchewan has created a carbon pricing plan that the Pembina Institute says “fails to acknowledge the efficiency of carbon pricing to cut emissions”.  

Saskatchewan’s climate plan does not meet federal carbon pricing benchmark

The Pembina Institute says the Saskatchewan government’s carbon pricing policy is insufficient to adequately address carbon pollution and will not prepare the province’s economy for a low-carbon future.

“The Government of Saskatchewan announced it will be pricing pollution from only a small fraction of total provincial emissions – 11 per cent”, said Isabelle Turcotte, director of federal policy at the Pembina Institute.

According to the Pembina Institute, Saskatchewan’s narrow application of carbon pricing to the industrial sector unfortunately fails to acknowledge the efficiency of carbon pricing to cut emissions from other significant sources including oil and gas production, fuels used for transport and heating, and electricity.

Absent a carbon price, the province will need to rely strictly on command and control regulations and financial subsidies to achieve these reductions, at a higher cost to Saskatchewanians.

“While Saskatchewan’s climate plan makes welcomed commitments, it does not meet the minimum requirements set out in the federal carbon pricing benchmark,” said the Pembina Institute in a press release.

By filling the gaps, the benchmark creates a fairer system in which all polluters pay. In addition to making the economy compatible with a low-carbon future, it will increase the flow of money from polluters to all Saskatchewanians to help low-income households or fund renewable energy, public transport and energy efficiency.

“We cannot afford to get climate action wrong. Warmer and drier weather is contributing to severe wildfires in Ontario and B.C., which have given rise to high levels of air pollution across the country,” said Turcotte.

“A changing climate also means changes in precipitation patterns which can dramatically impact Saskatchewan’s agriculture sector.”