A provincial government-funded study by the University of Regina shows a federal carbon tax could reduce Saskatchewan’s gross domestic product by nearly $16 billion by 2030.

The study, which cost the government around $100,000 to commission, also shows the tax will have little impact on emissions.

“The federal government has significantly underestimated the economic impact of its carbon tax and overestimated the expected greenhouse gas reductions,” Environment Minister Dustin Duncan said. “This new and more thorough model indicates GDP reductions in the billions, which translates to less competitive industries in Saskatchewan and fewer jobs across the province. This is exactly why our government has never supported the tax and is challenging it in court.”

The provincial government worked with the researchers in the Institute for Energy, Environment and Sustainable Communities to look at several scenarios of the federal tax. According to the government, a carbon tax of $50 per tonne would reduce the GDP by 2.43 per cent or $1.8 billion per year. The total impact on the GDP would reach around $16 billion from 2019 to 2030.

The government says the study also showed tax would only reduce emissions by less than one megatonne — 1.25 per cent of the province’s total emissions.

Another study at the University of Calgary found a carbon tax would cost an average Saskatchewan household more than $1,000 each year.

“The federal government has not accounted for energy-intensive, trade-exposed industries that drive our economy and has not told Canadians what they will be paying or what little impact that price will have on emissions,” Duncan said. “Our strategy will enhance our resiliency to climate change, result in actual emissions reductions, and ensure our industries remain competitive.”

The province says it has other strategies in place to reduce its environmental impact.