UN climate report echoes into Sask.
Meili Cries cheap shot As Moe uses carbon tax figures to bash NDP
REGINA Premier Scott Moe used a UN report warning major action is needed to combat climate change to take a political jab at the Saskatchewan NDP and a carbon tax.
The report detailed how the world will not likely meet its climate goals in less than 25 years unless there is political will to act faster to curb greenhouse gas emissions. It shows how the globe is currently on course to warm up by 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels before 2040, that it is currently warming up by about 0.2 C each decade, and has already warmed by more than 1 C compared to the mid-19th century.
Moe echoed the leader of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation’s critique of the report’s proposed price on carbon — which would need to be between $135 to $5,500 per tonne by 2030 to keep overall global warming below the 1.5-degree threshold. In doing so, Moe took a political jab at NDP leader Ryan Meili — charging the Opposition supports such a policy.
On Friday, Meili accused Moe of “trolling ” him on social media and said he was “floored” the premier used an important document with a “stark message” to “play goofy games.”
Environment Minister Dustin Duncan, reached Friday, also used the report as a means to justify Saskatchewan’s ongoing opposition to a carbon tax.
“It underscores, frankly, the approach we’ve taken in the province to have a comprehensive strategy, that looks at more than just a tax,” he said, adding Saskatchewan’s plan has a focus on resiliency to climate change, which was “reflected in the UN report.”
“There’s a lot in the report that I would say shows that Saskatchewan is taking the right approach on this,” he said, noting there were some “concerning parts” of the report, including the proposed price of a carbon tax.
Duncan made the argument that the federally imposed carbon tax would only be reaching $50 a tonne by 2022 — well below what the UN report suggests would work. Meili noted climate change will have a big impact on Saskatchewan.
“This is the biggest threat to human health this century. It’s a very big deal.”
He also has doubts about the Saskatchewan Party government’s plan, which aims to increase renewable energy production and charge heavy polluters to reduce emissions, saying there have been promises made in the past that were “not really followed through.”