UN cli­mate re­port echoes into Sask.

Meili Cries cheap shot As Moe uses car­bon tax fig­ures to bash NDP

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - - FRONT PAGE - D.C. FRASER

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.”

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