The NDP used the Global Day of Action on Climate Change on Sunday to criticize what it calls the government's "miserable track record on climate change" and to demand real action.
"We believe we have an obligation to be responsible stewards of the environment and to do what we can to leave future generations a healthy and vibrant planet," said Cathy Sproule, NDP environment critic. "And, as a resource-producing and trade-dependent province, it's essential that we're smart and diligent about environmental regulation and environmental protection. That's why it's been so frustrating to watch this government slash our province's emission-reduction targets and cut climate change funding by 83 per cent since 2009, including another 35 per cent in this year's budget."
According to Statistics Canada, Saskatchewan produces more carbon emissions per person than any other province, at 69.7 tonnes per person per year. Only three per cent of the country's population, Saskatchewan produces 10.4 per cent of Canada's emissions.
Sproule also criticized the government for watering down SaskPower's energy conservation target, failing to prioritize renewable power, cutting funding for environmental assessment and environmental protection, and continuing to delay the implementation of the Technology Fund, a carbon-pricing mechanism for major emitters, which the government promised five years ago.
"We're going to keep fighting for action on climate change and environmental protection," said Sproule. "This government needs to stop cutting funding for climate change, environmental assessment and environmental protection. It needs to increase our use of clean, renewable power and have a much better energy conservation target. It needs to implement the Technology Fund it promised. It needs to protect native prairie and community pastures. And it needs to ensure that resource development is done responsibly, with stringent triple-bottom line assessments, and appropriate regulation of all projects based on the best science. That's the smart approach, it's the right approach, and it's exactly what we'll keep pushing for."