Carbon capture essential for action on climate change: Wall

Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall say carbon capture technology is essential for any meaningful action on climate change. Adrian Raaber / Global News

QUEBEC CITY – Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall says carbon capture and storage is essential for any meaningful action on climate change. Wall made the statement Tuesday morning at a provincial summit in Quebec City on climate change.

“While the discussions at this conference as to what we are doing in Canada are important, we need to remember that Canada is responsible for under 2.0 per cent of global C02 emissions while China, for example, with its plans to aggressively expand coal-fired electricity generation is responsible for 24.5 per cent of global emissions,” Wall said.

“We are kidding ourselves if we desire a positive global impact and are not focused on technological solutions to make world-wide base-load generation more sustainable.

“One-third of the world’s emissions come from coal,” Wall said after his brief presentation to fellow premiers.

READ MORE: Most premiers attend meeting on climate change in Quebec City

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Wall stated the deployment of cleaner coal technology along with nuclear power is necessary to have an impact – pointing to China and India, which are responsible, Wall said, for 25 per cent and six per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

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“The technology we’ve pioneered in Saskatchewan has worldwide application for other countries, other economies,” Wall told his fellow premiers and territorial leaders.

“As citizens of the world, if we’re not committed to finding the technological solutions to clean up coal, then we’re kind of playing on the margins.”

The technology Wall referred to is the carbon capture system at SaskPower’s Boundary Dam near Estevan, which captures 90 per cent of CO2 emissions, the equivalent of taking a quarter-of-a-million cars off the road.

READ MORE: Provincial government to battle green house gas emissions with low carbon technology

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne responded to Wall’s comments by saying Canadians, on a per-capita basis, are “high emitters and we have an added responsibility to develop technologies” along with reducing emissions.

Wynne announced on Monday that Ontario would join Quebec and California in a cap-and-trade system.

READ MORE: Ontario premier announces cap-and-trade plan to fight climate change

Wall replied that “showing leadership matters, signals matter, examples matter, but the numbers are the numbers. Less than two per cent of world emissions come from Canada.”

“In Saskatchewan we have chosen to develop a technology that will have an immediate impact, a technology that will allow us to square the circle of slashing greenhouse gas emissions while ensuring our economic growth continues.”

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Wall also told the summit that each province and territory has to develop its own regional approach on climate change policy, while contributing to positioning Canada overall as a global leader in emissions-reducing technologies.

With files from The Canadian Press

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