Province launches green strategy
April 12, 2007
Saskatchewan took a major step forward in protecting the environment and addressing climate change today, with the launch of the province’s Green Strategy.
“The Green Strategy is about making life better for Saskatchewan families by conserving, protecting and restoring the health of our environment and building a green economy,” Premier Lorne Calvert said. “This government is committed to taking action to ensure that future generations benefit from our sound environmental stewardship and sustainable practices.”
Saskatchewan’s Green Strategy contains over 100 actions that demonstrate the government’s commitment. In 2007-08, the province will spend $7.5 million on initiatives such as:
• The Green Initiatives Fund - $4.9 million for the development, implementation and promotion of environmental innovation:
· The Support for Sustainable Communities portion of the Fund will provide individuals, organizations, communities and Aboriginal organizations with money for climate change adaptation, water conservation and protection, green agriculture and sustainable development.
· The Green Technology Commercialization portion will be used to help small and medium sized businesses develop and sell green technologies.
· The Green Energy and Energy Conservation portion will provide funding under a number of specific initiatives:
1. Farm Energy Audit Program ($400,000) - will provide farmers and ranchers with assistance in reviewing how they use energy and how they can reduce costs, improve efficiency and reduce their impacts on the environment.
2. Energy Efficiency for Business, Communities, Agriculture and Non-Profit Organizations ($1.1 million) - financial incentives to assist with energy conservation projects and installation of renewable energy systems.
3. Energy Efficiency Program for New Housing ($1 million) - will provide a grant to assist with the purchase of a new home built to the EnerGuide 80 standard, which includes ENERGY STAR® and R2000 homes. EnerGuide 80 homes are 30-40 per cent more efficient than those built to minimum code standards.
4. Solar Water Heating Rebate ($300,000) - SaskEnergy will deliver an additional rebate of $500 - bringing the provincial rebate to a total of $1,500 - to homeowners who install a domestic solar water heating system. The rebate is part of the province’s contribution to the EnerGuide program.
• Minister’s Council on Sustainability and Climate Change - The Council will provide advice to the province on developing a sustainable future and initiatives dealing with climate change. The Minister of Environment will appoint a council of leaders from across the province representing a wide range of communities and interests.
• Climate Change Education Challenge - Saskatchewan students and schools will participate in a challenge to take action to address the impacts of climate change for energy efficiency prizes.
• Household Hazardous Waste Days - Building on the commitment of $60,000 announced in March, a further $220,000 will go to supporting communities in the collection and safe disposal of unwanted pesticide containers and other hazardous materials.
• Provincial Air Quality Monitoring - A further $200,000 is provided for the operation of the Mobile Air Monitoring Laboratory to collect air quality data from anywhere in the province accessible by road, bringing the total funding to $645,000 to date.
• Public Education on Sustainability - $580,000 to provide individuals, businesses and organizations with information on action they can take and on what others are already doing to help build a sustainable future.
• Prairie Adaptation Research Centre (PARC) - $500,000 to PARC to support research on the impacts of climate change and adaptation strategies.
• Energy Efficiency in Saskatchewan’s Provincial Parks - $400,000 will be provided to the provincial park system to incorporate innovative green technology into park facilities, showcasing green solutions for park visitors and reducing the greenhouse gas emissions of park operations at the same time.
“Saskatchewan’s Green Strategy is about partnerships, innovation and stewardship,” Environment Minister John Nilson said. “Each of us will participate and share in the responsibility and benefit from the successes that a clean, healthy environment and a sustainable, vibrant economy offer.”
The Green Strategy highlights the current investment of millions of dollars by government departments, provincial agencies and Crown corporations that addresses energy demands, the protection of the natural environment and wildlife, the need for clean air, water and land and the importance of healthy communities. The Green Strategy demonstrates how we can continue to meet these needs, in increasingly effective and sustainable ways, for current and future generations in Saskatchewan.
“The Green Strategy recognizes the importance of a healthy environment in supporting the things we as a society value, such as schools, jobs, health care and parks,” Calvert said. “Together with our Sustainable Energy Strategy, which we will unveil in the next few weeks, it represents the overall vision of our government’s commitment to a green and prosperous economy.”
More information on Air Quality