Watch above: University of Saskatchewan professor Greg Poelzer says Canada and Saskatchewan have the potential to be leaders in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
SASKATOON – A university professor says Canada and Saskatchewan have the potential to be leaders in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
“When the world looks at Canada’s carbon dioxide emissions, they typically look at Alberta and the oil sands production,” says Greg Poelzer, professor of public policy at the University of Saskatchewan. “But what a lot of people don’t know is that among the ten provinces, Saskatchewan is actually the highest emitter of CO2 emissions.”
Poelzer says Premier Brad Wall is taking some good steps with the carbon capture and storage projects around the province.
“Internationally, people are paying attention to what’s going on in Saskatchewan where you have coal energy where you can reduce up to 90 per cent (of emissions).”
He also mentions a new hydro facility that might be built in partnership with Black Lake First Nation as well as a new biomass plant. Poelzer says undertaking these initiatives could benefit Canada’s economy by opening up our natural resource markets.
Poelzer says it is not impossible to be both an oil producer and be green. He cites Norway as an example of a country that produces oil but is also big on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
“They’re the eleventh largest producer of oil in the world, yet they’re a big producer of green energy. In fact, virtually all their electrical power is from renewables.”
Poelzer recently returned from Alaska where he was invited to attend an international summit on climate change. Both U.S. President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry spoke at the conference.