September 5, 2007
The Government of Saskatchewan is establishing the Green Future Fund with proceeds from the sale of Crown Investment Corporation's (CIC) 50 per cent interest in NewGrade Energy Inc., the heavy oil upgrader in Regina.
"We have accomplished the original goals of the NewGrade investment and it is gratifying that we will be able to use money from the sale of a non-renewable resource to invest in initiatives that will address the climate change challenge and build a sustainable environmental future for Saskatchewan people," Premier Lorne Calvert said. "We have achieved fair market value for CIC's interest in the upgrader. CIC will retain $320 million to capitalize the Green Future Fund. An estimated $75 million in dividends for 2007 will be part of CIC's 2007 dividend payment to the General Revenue Fund."
In addition to founding the Green Future Fund, the Government will immediately begin the process of establishing a Climate Change Secretariat, staffed by climate change experts. The Secretariat will be placed within CIC to co-ordinate and oversee Government's climate change agenda in the Crowns and Executive Government.
"These two initiatives will be key factors in helping achieve the commitments outlined in Saskatchewan's Green Strategy and the Saskatchewan Sustainable Energy and Climate Change Plan," Calvert said. "The Green Future Fund will make investments in four areas: conservation and efficiency; carbon capture and storage in the oil and gas, and electricity sectors; the increased use of renewable energy; and the reduction of methane and other emissions from our oil, gas and agriculture sectors. The Climate Change Secretariat will provide the leadership and concentrated focus we will need to implement our ambitious agenda and meet our aggressive targets."
The province is committed to stabilizing greenhouse gas emissions by 2010. By 2020, emissions will be 32 per cent lower than current levels, a reduction of 22 tonnes per capita. The 2050 target is to reduce emissions by 80 per cent from current levels, a reduction of 55 tonnes per capita.
"Many of our Crown corporations will require significant capital in the coming years to research, develop and implement green strategies and to renew and build utility infrastructure that will reduce our environmental footprint," CIC Minister Judy Junor said. "SaskPower, in particular, will need to replace traditional electrical generation with new, renewable sources. The Green Future Fund will be one way to provide some of the risk capital to test and assist in the development of new technologies, thereby relieving customers of part of the burden of paying these costs."
The Secretariat is expected to be in operation this fall. Details of the Green Future Fund are being developed by CIC, and will be announced in the coming weeks. The name of the party that has made an offer for CIC's interest in the NewGrade upgrader cannot be released for regulatory reasons until later this fall.