REGINA - Saskatchewan's environment minister is fuming about a report that says the province isn't taking climate change seriously.
Dustin Duncan said Thursday that he's disappointed that the David Suzuki Foundation released the report without talking to the province about what it's doing to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
"It is an issue that we are taking seriously, despite what the Suzuki Foundation believes," said Duncan.
"We are making significant investments in technology like carbon capture and sequestion which has been recognized as leading technology when it comes to reducing emissions, while still providing jobs for people that work in the coal and in the power industry."
The report notes that Saskatchewan has the highest per capita greenhouse gas emissions in Canada. It criticizes the province for not having a plan to end its reliance on coal-fired power plants.
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Here's a look at the best and worst climate change policies in Canada, as ranked by the David Sazuki Foundation. All info comes from the report "All Over The Map 2012." (CP)
"Quebec is still leading the field in many areas, including being the first province to enact a modest cap-and-trade system on industrial GHG emissions, although its commitment to expanding oil and gas exploration and road and highway building threaten progress and its standing." (Alamy)
"Ontario's pioneering Green Energy Act is already reaping environmental and economic benefits for the province and could serve as a blueprint for other jurisdictions" (GEOFF ROBINS/AFP/Getty Images)
"Top-ranked in 2008, B.C., although it leads the country on pricing carbon pollution, has lost momentum and stalled on implementing measures to ensure it meets its 2020 reduction target with the threat of shale gas and the potential development of a gas-powered LNG terminal that could undermine the province's leadership." (PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP/Getty Images)
"Although concerns remain about past failures, Nova Scotia has taken important steps, including a hard cap to reduce GHG emissions from the power sector." (Tim BREAKMEIE/AFP/Getty Images)
With emissions already below 1990 levels, P.E.I. has made strong commitments to increasing both energy efficiency and renewable energy. (MICHEL VIATTEAU/AFP/Getty Images)
"Although Manitoba has shown some leadership on energy efficiency, there have been too many broken promises and half (if any) measures to reduce emissions from major sources." (Flickr: Jezz's Photostream
"Progress has stalled in New Brunswick with a change of provincial government. It remains to be seen whether the new government will continue to stall, go forward or go backward." (Luke Pinneo/Getty Images)
"The government of the Northwest Territories still relies more on subsidies than regulations, but it has made a commitment to increasing renewable energy and is considering a carbon tax." (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
"Although the government of Newfoundland and Labrador has, more so than many jurisdictions, led by example in tackling its own emissions, its long-awaited updated action plans detail no concrete steps to tackle and reduce emissions from major sources." (Flickr: magnolia1000)
"The territory of Nunavut still has no GHG reduction targets and has failed to include promising measures in official strategies." (Flickr: courosa)
"Despite an admirable goal for government of Yukon operations to be carbon neutral by 2020, there are no territory-wide GHG reduction targets or plans to tackle emissions from industry." (Flickr: Andrewsaurusrex)
"Alberta's commitment to heavily polluting, damaging and unsustainable fossil fuel industries continues unabated with a recent analysis showing the province is only on track to achieve one third of its pollution-reduction target for 2020." (MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
"It is difficult to imagine any jurisdiction taking the threats of climate change less seriously than Saskatchewan currently does." (Flickr: Just a Prairie Boy's photostream)
Coal-fired power plants are the primary source of energy in Saskatchewan and Duncan said there's no plan to get rid of them.
"The Suzuki Foundation has taken a position, and it's fair enough for them to take it, but they seemingly have taken a position that we need to move away from the coal industry," said Duncan.
"And that's a position that we just fundamentally disagree with as a government.
"It's important to the people that rely on that industry for their employment. We have significant coal reserves and we're pretty confident that we have a technology that can make coal a resource that we can use in the future in a cleaner way."
Carbon capture and storage has been touted as a high-tech way to help with the world's carbon problems, but has been panned as expensive and unproven. Critics say not enough is known about the consequences of burying carbon dioxide.
SaskPower is testing carbon capture technology.
The report criticizes the province for eliminating its Climate Change Secretariat and its Office of Energy Conservation. Duncan said the secretariat was announced by the previous NDP government but never created.
The report also says Saskatchewan has taken several steps backward on climate change since 2008, and although new regulations have been proposed, these policies are too weak to achieve the current provincial climate change goal.
"We have a lot of catch up to do, but we are doing significant work," said Duncan.
"We have legislation that is in place. We are currently working on our regulations, while being mindful that we have a strong economy and we want to see that continue."