REGINA – 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 says 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.
Duncan says the law would be an effective way to fight climate change without a carbon tax.
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.
“These amendments are an important step in fulfilling our government’s promise to reduce emissions and make Saskatchewan more resilient to the impacts of climate change,” Duncan said Tuesday in a statement.
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.