Policy brief appears to back Wall’s carbon stance

  • 21 Sep 2016
  • The StarPhoenix

Policy brief appears to back Wall’s carbon stance

A recently released policy brief by the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy appears to support Premier Brad Wall’s contention that any carbon pricing scheme — whether it’s a carbon tax, cap and trade or stricter emissions regulations — is likely to cause economic hardship to the province.

“Carbon tax, cap and trade or implicit carbon pricing operating alone are likely to be insufficient to meet Paris Agreement carbon levels because they each have their faults,’’ said the brief written by Peter Phillips and Victoria Taras of the JSGS at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon.

“When two or all three are used to together, along with perhaps other carbon management options, there is great potential for mitigating carbon emissions. However, it risks destabilizing mining, which is one of Saskatchewan and Canada’s most competitive and important revenuegenerating industries,” the brief said.

The study concludes that a “partnership between Canada’s federal and provincial jurisdictions, that includes consultations with the minerals and mining sector, offers real hope for discussion grounded in facts and realities.’’

The issue of carbon pricing has been in the news lately, as federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna confirmed over the weekend that Ottawa will impose some form of carbon pricing system on provinces that won’t adopt either a carbon tax, cap and trade or similar mechanism. Her statement drew criticism from Wall, who said forcing the provinces into climate change policy compliance could strain the relationship between provincial and federal governments.

“It’s not the collaborative approach that the prime minister promised when he was elected,” said Wall.

The premier said his province already has a price on carbon — through its $1.5-billion carbon capture and storage (CCS) project at Boundary Dam power station — and any further action by Ottawa could hurt western provinces already under stress because of falling oil prices.

“If it’s some sort of a universal price that will… manifest itself as a tax, and be disproportionately impacting the energy sector, which is already reeling, then we have a big problem in Saskatchewan with that kind of unilateral action,” he told CTV News.

While conceding Alberta and Saskatchewan “each contribute proportionally more to national emissions than any province,” the policy brief argues that a carbon tax is not the best solution for Saskatchewan. “Carbon tax is promoted as a way to plug a policy gap that might exist in certain jurisdictions, but it might not be the optimal strategy for Saskatchewan’s resource-based, exportdependent economy.’’




About prosperitysaskatchewan

Consultant on Saskatchewan's natural resources.

Posted on September 21, 2016, in economic impact, miscellaneous, oil, political. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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