POP: Kyoto Accord

POP: Yes
Res #: POP 4-02M
Number: 4
Year: 2002
Midterm: Yes
Expired: Yes
Responses Received: No
Departments: Office of the Premier of Saskatchewan

Point of Privilege Resolution No. 4-02M

WHEREAS, the Federal Government is intending to implement the Kyoto Accord; and

WHEREAS, the Kyoto Accord has the potential to seriously harm Saskatchewan's rural economy;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that SARM lobby the Federal and Provincial Governements to not ratify the Kyoto Accord and instead seek other solutions in regard to environmental protection.

Response From Premier Lorne Calvert:

In the document entitled Making it Work: A Saskatchewan Perspective on Climate Change Policy, the Government of Saskatchewan recently outlined its position on the Kyoto Protocol. I have enclosed a copy for your review.

The Government of Saskatchewan recognizes that climate change is a serious environmental issue that must be addressed. For this reason, Saskatchewan supports many of the principles and objectives underlying the Kyoto Protocol. As outlined in our position paper, our province supports the Kyoto Protocol's goal of controlling global climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions through co-operative international action. Since we do not know the impact on the province, we cannot yet support the Kyoto emissions reduction target and the Kyoto timeframe. Saskatchewan is willing to do its fair share to assist in accomplishing national climate change objectives, subject to a fair, equitable climate change plan being put in place.

The Government of Saskatchewan is disappointed with the federal government's sense of urgency to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. As you are aware, on December 10, 2002, the House of Commons voted in favour of committing Canada to the Kyoto Protocol, and on December 16, the Prime Minister signed the ratification instrument.

The federal government recently released its climate change plan, and Saskatchewan is disappointed that the plan does not include a full and equal partnership for provinces. We are concerned that the federal government may be underestimating the costs and economic burden on Saskatchewan's industry. The province is also disappointed that the plan contains few details about the estimated costs of initiatives and the availability of federal funding for provinces and communities.

The plan does contain many desirable measures, and would be a good starting point for discussions with provinces, industry and Canadians. Saskatchewan has a strong interest in some measures outlined in the plan, such as ethanol and the development of new technology, but we need more details about what the federal government intends to do in each of these areas. We continue to urge the federal government to proceed cautiously, to consult widely with provinces, industry and the public.

The Government of Saskatchewan believes that a much better climate change plan can be prepared if the federal government is willing to work with provinces and amend the plan to reflect our concerns and those of industry.

All provinces and territories have indicated that the federal plan is inadequate, and that they are willing to work jointly with the federal government to improve it. We will also work with the federal government to co-operatively undertake greenhouse gas reduction initiatives that make sense in Saskatchewan.