Saskatchewan, Ottawa strike accord on coal-fire power generation – by Shawn McCarthy (Globe and Mail – November 29, 2016)

OTTAWA — Saskatchewan has reached a deal with Ottawa on reducing greenhouse gas emissions in its coal-fired power sector, but the two governments remain at odds over carbon pricing ahead of next week’s first ministers’ meeting on climate change.

Saskatchewan Environment Minister Scott Moe and his federal counterpart, Catherine McKenna, announced Monday that the two governments will conclude an “equivalency agreement” that could keep one or more coal-fired power plants operating past 2030, so long as the province makes major GHG reductions elsewhere in its electricity sector.

Ms. McKenna last week unveiled the federal plan to accelerate the phase-out of coal-fired electricity as part of the Canada’s commitment to reduce GHG emissions by 30 per cent from 2005 levels by 2030 under the international Paris Agreement on climate change.

At the time, the federal minister announced that Nova Scotia had agreed to negotiate an agreement that would allow that province to keep coal plants open, subject to achieving equivalent GHG reductions from its power sector.

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall has been the leading opponent of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s approach to a pan-Canadian climate strategy, particularly the Prime Minister’s proposal for a minimum national-carbon price that would imposed on provinces if they do not adopt their own carbon-pricing plan.

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