A panel that provides environmental advice for Saskatoon city council is calling for aggressive targets for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
A pair of reports reviewed Monday at a meeting of the Standing Policy Committee on the Environment, Utilities and Corporate Services addressed the issue.
The first came from the Saskatoon Environmental Advisory Committee (SEAC). It called for the most aggressive option of reducing emissions to 15 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020. Longer term, the report called for emissions to be brought down to 80 per cent by 2050.
Another report was prepared by city administration in response to a letter from the Saskatchewan Environmental Society, who proposed 21 ideas for getting GHG emissions in check. Among the proposals: energy efficient building codes, designing new neighbourhoods with solar power in mind, an idling ban for vehicles and the creation of incentives for clean energy and low-emission vehicles.
Speaking at Monday’s committee meeting, SEAC’s Brian Sawatzky said that all levels of government will have to chip in to fight climate change.
He suggested that while the city can do things like encourage public transit and better building standards, ultimately, measures outside the city’s control would be needed — including a carbon tax.
This year will see the city’s first comprehensive greenhouse gas inventory since 2003.