June 03, 2019

Saskatchewan Begins Development of Prairie Resilience Carbon Offset Framework

The Government of Saskatchewan is sharing a discussion paper today to launch development of a carbon offset framework for the province, fulfilling another commitment in the Prairie Resilience climate change strategy.

The discussion paper poses a series of questions to help develop a carbon offset framework that will create additional value for actions that result in carbon sequestration or reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, including Saskatchewan soils and forests.  The paper has already been shared with provincial stakeholders, including environmental associations, industry associations, regulated emitters, urban and rural municipalities, Crowns and government agencies, First Nations and Métis organizations and educational institutions. Stakeholders were asked to provide written feedback in May and will meet with Environment officials in June to further discuss the potential offset system.

“Our government is committed to designing an offset program that best serves the needs of the province,” Environment Minister Dustin Duncan said. “With input from Saskatchewan industries, associations, producer groups and other diverse stakeholders, we can design a system that extends to all sectors to help the province shift to a lower-carbon economy.”

Offset credits are one option for industrial emitters to comply with regulations already in place to reduce the intensity of emissions per unit of production. The market-based program will provide carbon offset credits to a project developer who uses approved methodologies to reduce, remove or sequester GHG emissions from the atmosphere. These credits can then be sold to organizations seeking to comply with the regulations and account for their own emissions. The offset program will be designed to provide incentives for developing clean technologies, renewable energy and sustainable practices.

“Prairie Resilience is designed to achieve actual greenhouse gas reductions by 2030,” Duncan said. “Despite the imposition of the ineffective federal carbon tax, these discussions ensure the offset framework accounts for economic growth, competitiveness and trade exposure.”

The discussion paper can be found on the Government of Saskatchewan’s Publication Centre at https://publications.saskatchewan.ca under Environment > Climate Change. A technology fund discussion paper is also available, while a paper on a performance credit system is expected later this year.

Saskatchewan’s Prairie Resilience climate change strategy includes more than 40 commitments across five areas, designed to reduce emissions and strengthen Saskatchewan’s resilience to the climatic, economic and policy impacts of climate change. The Prairie Resilience strategy is available at www.saskatchewan.ca/climate-change.