Federal Government Approves Saskatchewan's Output-Based Performance Standards Program

Nov 22, 2022

On November 22nd the Government of Saskatchewan announced that the federal government approved Saskatchewan’s industry carbon pricing plan, effective January 1, 2023. In a news release, the Government of Saskatchewan noted that the Saskatchewan Output-Based Performance Standards (OBPS) Program meets the 2023-2030 federal carbon pricing benchmark requirements and is designed to maintain economic competitiveness and protect against carbon leakage by keeping industry carbon tax revenue in the province. Moreover, the government has said that this plan will save Saskatchewan industry $3.7 billion between 2023 and 2030.

Federal Government Approves Saskatchewan's Output-Based Performance Standards Program

Large industry to fall under provincial carbon pricing plan

Today, the provincial government received confirmation that a provincial plan has been approved to replace the federally imposed carbon tax on industrial emitters in the province, effective January 1, 2023. The Saskatchewan Output-Based Performance Standards (OBPS) Program meets the requirements for the 2023-2030 federal carbon pricing benchmark, including the addition of the electricity generation and natural gas transmission pipeline sectors.

All industrial carbon taxes will now stay in Saskatchewan, saving Saskatchewan industry (and the jobs and families these industries support) an estimated $3.7 billion in federal carbon taxes between now and 2030 compared to federal carbon pricing. 

"Now more than ever, the world needs food and energy security – and that means the world needs Saskatchewan and our clean and sustainable, food, fuel and fertilizer," Environment Minister Dana Skoropad said. "This is not the time for federal climate policies that risk undermining our economic growth and prosperity. Our plan will allow industries to grow and operate sustainably while maintaining our economic competitiveness as a province." 

With industrial carbon pricing under provincial control, the number of facilities in Saskatchewan's OBPS Program is expected to double by 2030. Regulated emitters will receive credit for every tonne of carbon emissions under their permitted amount, creating incentives to reduce emissions. 

"We're very pleased to hear the announcement from today and appreciate the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment and Environment and Climate Change Canada for all of the efforts taken to date," Director of Regulatory Affairs and Sustainability for Mosaic Jessica Theriault said. "This decision will not only contribute to ensuring that our Mosaic sites in Saskatchewan remain competitive around the world, but further supports our ESG commitments and continued role in helping to feed the world."

The Saskatchewan OBPS Program will also include credit for carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), which supports Saskatchewan's CCUS strategy. Regulated emitters will have the option to pay into the Saskatchewan Technology Fund, which will create incentives for industry to develop and implement technologies that contribute to meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions intensity.

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