Cli­mate plan won’t charge heavy emit­ters un­til 2021

PressReader - LStep Channel - Cli­mate plan won’t charge heavy emit­ters un­til 2021
De­spite set­ting the price of ex­cess emis­sions for Saskatchewan’s large in­dus­trial emit­ters at $20 a tonne in 2019, the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment says no money will be gen­er­ated un­til 2021.That is be­cause the province is al­low­ing heavy emit­ters un­til that year to be com­pli­ant with emis­sions stan­dards.The province’s cli­mate-change strat­egy, Prairie Re­silience, im­ple­mented sec­tor-spe­cific stan­dards on fa­cil­i­ties pro­duc­ing more than 25,000 tonnes of CO2 emis­sions each year.Out­put-based per­for­mance stan­dards were put in place for each of the more than 40 fa­cil­i­ties that fall into that cat­e­gory, ac­count­ing for roughly 11 per cent of Saskatchewan’s to­tal emis­sions in 2016.Ac­cord­ing to the province, the stan­dards were “de­signed to be tech­ni­cally achiev­able,” and the fa­cil­i­ties they ap­ply to can choose to re­duce their over­all emis­sions, pay into a tech­nol­ogy fund or use other com­pli­ance op­tions, such as a cap-and-trade sys­tem where emit­ters can pur­chase cred­its gained for good per­for­mance from other com­pa­nies to off­set their own ex­cess emis­sions.“Be­cause the sys­tem is flex­i­ble by de­sign, and avoids forc­ing reg­u­lated emit­ters to take spe­cific com­pli­ance ac­tions, pro­jec­tions can­not be made as to how much money will be in the tech­nol­ogy fund,” said a state­ment from the province.Ei­ther way, com­pa­nies will have un­til 2021 to de­cide which method they will use. The province ex­pects the stan­dards to lower the province’s CO2 emis­sions by 5.3-mil­lion tonnes by 2030 — a 10-per­cent over­all re­duc­tion.De­spite emit­ters be­ing ex­pected by the province to start re­duc­ing pol­lu­tion lev­els now, Prairie Re­silience won’t be fully op­er­a­tional un­til 2021, when the province will be ex­pect­ing and en­forc­ing full reg­u­la­tory com­pli­ance.NDP Leader Ryan Meili says the Saskatchewan Party gov­ern­ment never has taken emis­sions re­duc­tions se­ri­ously, and ques­tions if there will be any re­duc­tions by 2021, say­ing it, “Un­der­mines any con­fi­dence peo­ple might have that this gov­ern­ment takes cli­mate change se­ri­ously.”Once im­ple­mented, the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment pre­dicts, 58 per cent of Saskatchewan’s emis­sions will be reg­u­lated un­der the heavy emit­ters sec­tion of Prairie Re­silience.The province has ar­gued its cli­mate-change plan is enough to re­duce emis­sions and a fed­er­ally im­posed car­bon tax would hurt Saskatchewan’s GDP by nearly $2 bil­lion each year. It is un­clear how much it will cost in­dus­try to ful­fil the reg­u­la­tions now in ef­fect.“Due to the flex­i­ble na­ture of th­ese reg­u­la­tions, it is dif­fi­cult to pre­dict an ex­act cost to reg­u­lated emit­ters,” said the province’s state­ment, adding it al­lows heavy emit­ters to im­ple­ment the “low­est cost op­tion” to re­duce pol­lu­tants.“This method en­cour­ages im­ple­men­ta­tion of in­no­va­tive and cost-ef­fec­tive so­lu­tions, rather than pre­scrib­ing par­tic­u­lar ac­tions or spe­cific tech­nolo­gies that must be im­ple­mented,” read the state­ment.Given a fed­eral elec­tion is ex­pected this year and the Con­ser­va­tive Party of Canada is plan­ning to scrap the Lib­eral gov­ern­ment’s cli­mate-change strat­egy if elected, Meili said al­low­ing heavy emit­ters a few years to com­ply, “Sug­gests to me they are bank­ing on a change in gov­ern­ment and walk­ing away from this com­mit­ment.”(This) sug­gests to me they are bank­ing on a change in gov­ern­ment and walk­ing away from this com­mit­ment.

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