Management and Reduction of Greenhouse Gases Act
Under the province’s 2010 Management and Reduction of Greenhouse Gases Act [PDF], (the Act), facilities that emit more than 50,000 tonnes of GHGs are regulated with a view to requiring them to reduce annual emissions to provincially established targets. Portions of the Act came into force by proclamation in December 2017 and the Management and Reduction of Greenhouse Gases (General and Electricity Producer) Regulations came into effect on January 4, 2018. The Regulations impose reporting requirements and emissions limits for regulated emitters.
Equivalency agreement on coal
In late 2016, the province of Saskatchewan and the Government of Canada reached an agreement to finalize a future equivalency agreement for Canada’s existing coal-fired regulation. A finalized equivalency agreement will assist Saskatchewan by providing the province with more flexibility as it seeks to move away from coal-fired energy generation to renewable energy sources. Pursuant to the agreement, Saskatchewan will be allowed to continue using coal for energy generation as long as equivalent emissions reduction outcomes are achieved. In order to move forward with the equivalency agreement, in December 2017, the province passed regulations on coal-fired electricity. The forthcoming equivalency agreement is crucial for Saskatchewan, given the province’s heavy reliance on coal to produce energy and the federal government’s recent announcement that it is seeking to completely eliminate coal power generation by 2030.
Prairie Resilience: A Made-in-Saskatchewan Climate Change Strategy
In late 2017, Saskatchewan released Prairie Resilience: A Made-in-Saskatchewan Climate Change Strategy. The strategy is intended to address greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change without introducing a carbon tax. It involves developing and implementing sector-specific output-based performance standards on large emitting facilities. The province proposes several “flexible compliance options for industry” including making improvements to facilities, purchasing carbon offsets and paying into a technology fund. The strategy will be further developed in line with stakeholder consultations set to begin in 2018.