The Saskatchewan government has introduced its own climate change law as its feud with Ottawa over a carbon tax continues to play out in the courts.

The bill, which amends current climate legislation, lays the groundwork for standards to reduce industrial greenhouse gas emissions.

Under the proposed legislation, large emitters would be required to register with the province and could receive credits for reaching targets.

Environment Minister Dustin Duncan said Tuesday the law would be an effective way to fight climate change without a carbon tax.

"It's really just the next step for us in implementing the plan that the federal government have acknowledged is a good plan," he said.

The province said large emitters generate 11 per cent of the province's emissions and the new standards are expected to reduce emissions by 10 per cent or one million tonnes by 2030.

Around 43 facilities fall under the new regulations. The majority of those facilities are large potash producers or oil companies.

Amir Attaran, a law professor at the Ecojustice Environment Law Clinic at the University of Ottawa, said Saskatchewan's plan doesn't commit the province to mitigating greenhouse gas emissions.

"It expresses hopes that will happen," Attaran said. "It likewise does not commit anyone in the province to pay a carbon price that's comparable to the federal one."

Saskatchewan is asking its Court of Appeal to rule on whether Ottawa's plan to force a carbon tax on the province is constitutional. The case isn't set to be heard until at least next spring.

Opposition NDP Leader Ryan Meili said the government had nine years to take action on the current legislation but chose not to.

"Now there's pressure to move quickly," Meili said. "We will certainly have a good look at what the amendments are and decide whether or not it's close enough to the original that we're happy with."

Ottawa had asked all provinces to put a minimum price on pollution of $20 a tonne of emissions by Jan. 1.

Last week, the federal government detailed a plan to charge a carbon tax in Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and New Brunswick — the four provinces refusing to comply.

Ottawa then plans to rebate the carbon tax money to residents in those provinces. It's estimated the average household payment in Saskatchewan will be $598.

Comments

Saskatchewan's large polluters will reduce emissions by 10% by 2030. WOW!? This is akin to a drop in the bucket. What will this achieve? What about all of the vehicles driven on Saskatchewan's roads. We'll just let them keep on emitting? And since this is voluntary, how many large emitters will actually reduce emissions? After all, we know that large emitters like to (1) deny climate change and (2) obstruct our efforts to save Earth from extinction (e.g., the exact same province is refusing to tax carbon emissions and is suing the federal government). Talk about (1) denial and (2) obstruction! We can probably expect Doug Ford to make the same meaningless effort in Ontario.

So they have an aspiration, for cutting 11% by 10%, so reducing total emissions by 1.1%. If they're lucky, and if they implement this one a lot harder than the previous one, and if no other emission source grows. Woo! Go Saskatchewan party! Show us how it's done!
That's not even a fig leaf. Intended as window dressing, it leaves the window conspicuously bare; there's an arm and one foot of a mannequin, with a note that doesn't even say "watch this space" but rather "budget constraints preclude the use of whole mannequins or clothing; please imagine this as a whole emperor wearing clothes". And the dude wants to use THIS as his excuse for why he won't do a carbon tax?!
At least Trudeau has an emperor and some trimmings that people who want to believe can imagine are clothes.

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