Saskatoon mayor Charlie Clark made his first appearance of 2017 on 650 CKOM Tuesday.
Speaking with host Gerald Bauman, Clark touched on the issue of a national carbon tax.
He said ultimately, the city government will have to live under whatever system is imposed by the higher levels of government.
“We’re not a provincial jurisdiction and we’re not a federal jurisdiction. They’re going to be fighting it out,” he said.
Clark noted all the city can do is try and get going on reducing emissions where it can, to avoid the potential of a hefty bill once the tax comes.
“I want to make sure we’re positioning Saskatoon to succeed and whenever these taxes come in they could have a negative impact,” he said.
“We need to channel our energy towards making the shifts that we need to make, to become more sustainable into the future and mitigate those risks.”
Clark said the city is already working to reduce emissions through Saskatoon Light and Power, its electrical utility.
“We’re testing out solar right now by the landfill. We’ve got our landfill gas project that’s a renewable energy project and we have the potential to be looking at the hydro on the weir on the river and expanding some of those things,” he said.
Clark noted as it stands right now, Saskatoon has one of the highest per-capita rates of greenhouse gas emissions on Earth – a situation that could get expensive if there’s a price on carbon.
“It’s a risk to us to not make some changes to that, and (then), as these pricing schemes develop, we get hit harder,” he said.