OTTAWA, April 21, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - Saskatchewan's heavy reliance on fossil fuels and its resource-driven economy give the province a "D-" grade overall and a last place finish among all provinces and international peers on The Conference Board of Canada's How Canada Performs: Environment report card. Released on the eve of Earth Day, this is the first report card that compares the environmental performance of Canada, the provinces, and 15 peer countries.
"The resource boom made Saskatchewan an economic growth leader among the provinces up until recently. But that economic growth came with a hefty environmental price tag. Saskatchewan gets "D" or "D-" grades on all but 2 of the 10 indicators used to assess the provinces' environmental performance," said Louis Thériault, Vice-President, Public Policy. "These results show that Saskatchewan and Canada need to encourage more sustainable consumption. Protecting the environment from damage is not a problem for tomorrow but a challenge for today."
- Saskatchewan scores a "D-" grade and ranks last among 26 comparator jurisdictions.
- Saskatchewan emits nearly 70 tonnes of GHG emissions per capita, over three times the national average.
- Canada as a whole gets a "D" grade on the environment report card and ranks third-to-last among the 16 peer countries.
Nine indicators were used to evaluate the environmental performance of Canada, the provinces and 15 peer countries. We evaluate the provinces on an additional indicator for which comparable international data are not available, waste generation. The indicators cover performance in four categories: climate change, air pollution, waste, and freshwater management.
Climate Change: Primary industries make up a large share of Saskatchewan's economy, resulting in high energy intensity and GHG emissions, and "D-" grades on both of these indicators. At nearly 70 tonnes CO2 equivalent per capita, the province has a GHG emission rate that is six times as high as Quebec's, the top-ranked province on GHG emissions, and over three times the national average. Saskatchewan also relies heavily on fossil fuels for generating electricity, and earns a "D" on low-emitting electricity production.
Air pollution: On a per capita basis, the province does poorly on all four indicators in this category, earning a "D" grade on sulphur oxides (SOx) emissions, and "D-" grades on nitrogen oxides (NOx), volatile organic compounds (VOC), and particulate matter (PM10) emissions.
Waste: Saskatchewan is one of the worst-ranked provinces when it comes to waste generation, only Alberta ranks lower. Saskatchewan produces over 880 kilograms of waste per capita and scores a "D" grade.
Freshwater management: Saskatchewan does perform well on a couple of measures. The province provides adequate treatment for most of the wastewater collected and has low per capita water withdrawals, and so earns "A" grades on the wastewater treatment and water withdrawals indicators.
How Canada Performs is an ongoing research program at The Conference Board of Canada to help leaders identify relative strengths and weaknesses in Canada's socio-economic performance. Six performance domains are assessed: Economy, Education and Skills, Innovation, Environment, Health, and Society.
Released today, and building on previous How Canada Performs analyses, the Environment report card is the fifth of six to be produced on Canadian and provincial socio-economic performance. To date, the Economy, Education and Skills, Health, and Innovation report cards have been published.
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Video with caption: "Video: Spotlight on Canada's GHG emissions". Video available at: https://youtu.be/fPdrFAwoFRU
Image with caption: "Environment report card for Canada and the provinces (CNW Group/Conference Board of Canada)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20160421_C2136_PHOTO_EN_671328.jpg
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