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'Net zero is no longer the goal': Sask. premier believes fed's 'true intentions' revealed in COP28 announcement

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Premier Scott Moe believes the federal government revealed its intentions for the resource industry at the COP28 climate change conference.

“Net zero is no longer the goal for our federal government and that was obvious this week,” Moe said in a news conference Sunday morning.

“If it were, the federal government would not be talking about phasing out the energy industry altogether.”

On Thursday, the federal government announced its framework to cap oil and gas sector emissions at 35 to 38 per cent below 2019 levels by 2030.

It will be done using a national cap-and-trade system beginning in 2026. The announcement was made at the COP28 conference.

“It’s a first in Canadian history. No government has ever put in place regulations to ensure that the oil and gas sector reduces its overall pollution,” Environment and Climate Change Minister Steven Guilbeault said. “It’s never been done and in fact not only has it never been done in Canada, we’re the first oil and gas producer in the world.”

Saskatchewan remained focused at COP28 on promoting Saskatchewan’s sustainable production of food, fuel and fertilizer.

Moe’s government had been criticized for spending more than $1 million on a pavilion and advertising at the conference.

Moe believes the investments led to results.

“The Saskatchewan pavilion hosted 57 panel discussions and events that featured more than 60 various companies and organizations from across our province and across the nation and around the world,” he explained.

The premier claims that he made or strengthened relationships with many of the 200 nations that attended COP28. His government will now follow up.

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