As the federally imposed carbon tax looms overhead, the provincial government is moving forward with the next step of the their climate change strategy, further demonstrating that Saskatchewan does have a plan.
Environment Minister Dustin Duncan announced the governments next step in Prairie Resilience is a new Climate Resilience Measurement Framework. The framework will measure, assess and improve Saskatchewan’s preparedness and ability to adapt to ongoing climate change.
Duncan said that even if we could wake up tomorrow and eliminate all carbon emissions from our province, climate change is still happening and the communities need to make sure they have plans in place to adapt to these changes and that is what the framework focuses on.
It is not necessarily to monitor the progress of the carbon reduction efforts, it is to assess whether communities have plans in place for things such as up to date floodplain maps and how communities are dealing with other effects of global climate change.
The framework includes 25 measures to monitor and enhance provincial resilience to climate change including:
• percentage of agriculture land area with a nutrient stewardship plan, which matches the right source and rate of fertilizer to the right time and place of application
• greenhouse gas emissions from government-owned buildings
• provincial forest harvest designs
• Floodplain mapping for at-risk communities
• wildfire fuel management work on Crown land
“This new resilience framework covers a broad and balanced set of measures that will help to ensure we are working to protect Saskatchewan people and communities from a changing climate. This is an important part of our comprehensive plan that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and achieve better results than a singular carbon tax policy,” said Duncan.
In a press meeting, Duncan said this new step in their plan is for the people of Saskatchewan but it is also enforcing that the province does have a climate change plan, something the federal government hasn’t fully recognized.
The framework which was announced on November 29, 2018, is the first of it’s kind in Canada and is a cornerstone in Saskatchewan's Prairie Resilience, which is said to reduce annual greenhouse gas emissions by 12 million tonnes by 2030.