SASKATOON – An non-profit group is calling on the Saskatchewan government to do more to reduce emissions that cause climate change, including accepting a carbon tax.
The Saskatchewan Environmental Society says the province’s “Prairie Resilience” climate change plan is a step in the right direction, but falls well short of what is needed to make a real difference.
The group notes in a report that Saskatchewan’s per capita emissions are nine times higher than the global average.
The society recommends some form of a carbon tax in Saskatchewan and says if the province won’t take action it supports the federal government’s plan.
It says the province should ban the venting of methane gas during oil extraction and bring in financial incentives to encourage people to buy fuel-efficient vehicles.
The society also recommends the government reduce speeds on divided highways to 100 kilometres per hour, import more hydro electricity from Manitoba and re-establish inter-city bus service.
“The greenhouse gas mitigation measures in Prairie Resilience fall far short of constituting a meaningful response to climate change, given the urgency of the problem,” says the report released Thursday.
“Prairie Resilience does little to prepare Saskatchewan for the reality that our province, along with the rest of the world, will need to become carbon neutral by mid-century, if catastrophic effects from climate change are to be avoided.”
The society says more action is needed because there are already early warning signs of climate change in Saskatchewan, including more extreme weather, drought and wildfires.