SaskPower greenhouse gas emission targets going up in 2015

SaskPower will not cut its greenhouse gas emissions this year, after all.

Report shows projected increase in carbon dioxide pollution from Crown utility

SaskPower had planned to reduce greenhouse gas emissions per gigawatt hour by this year. (CBC)

SaskPower will not cut its greenhouse gas emissions this year, after all.

The Saskatchewan government is under fire from the Opposition for raising its projected carbon dioxide emissions at its power company.

SaskPower had planned to reduce greenhouse gas emissions per gigawatt-hour by this year. 

But its latest report says instead it will increase them from 665 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per gigawatt-hour of energy to 678 tonnes/GWh in 2015. 

In the 2013 annual report, the emissions target for 2016 was set at 646 tonnes/GWh. The 2014 annual report increased that number to 667.

Meanwhile, the NDP says that gross carbon emissions are also on the rise: SaskPower's projected emissions jumped by 304,512 tonnes for 2015 and 491,904 tonnes for 2016.

A chart from SaskPower's 2014 annual report shows emission targets until 2017.

Energy Minister Bill Boyd said there is a simple explanation for the increase in carbon emissions.

"We don't certainly make any apologies for the fact that we have a growing economy here in Saskatchewan and that we have more people wanting to move to our province," Boyd said.

"I think that's a positive thing. With growth, though, there comes, obviously, some challenges around that and this is one of them."

However, Cathy Sproule with the Opposition NDP said the difference is the equivalent of putting more than 200,000 cars on the road.

"People I talk to are incredibly embarrassed at the face that we're putting on the environment here in Saskatchewan," Sproule said.

"Our emissions are the highest per capita in Canada, have been for years, and we're looking for real change from this government and we haven't seen it."

Boyd said SaskPower will soon announce new renewable energy projects before the premier heads to an international climate change convention in Paris.


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