June 11, 2007

Saskatchewan to invest $7.5M in new Green Strategy

Saskatchewan's recently-unveiled Green Strategy will invest $7.5 million in more than 100 measures to address environmental protection and climate change. Among them is a $4.9-million Green Initiatives Fund which will support the development, implementation and promotion of environmental innovation.

The Fund has three components:

*The Support for Sustainable Communities portion of the Fund will invest in projects undertaken by individuals, organizations, communities and Aboriginal organizations in the areas of climate change adaptation, water conservation and protection, green agriculture and sustainable development.

*The Green Technology Commercialization portion will be used to help small and medium-sized businesses develop and sell green technologies.

*The Green Energy and Energy Conservation portion will provide funding for four specific programs: $400,000 for the Farm Energy Audit Program ($400,000); $1.1 million in financial incentives under the Energy Efficiency for Business, Communities, Agriculture and Non-Profit Organizations program; a $1-million Energy Efficiency Program for New Housing; and $300,000 to support a Solar Water Heating Rebate program delivered by SaskEnergy.

Other highlights of the province's Green Strategy include:

- the Minister's Council on Sustainability and Climate Change, which will advise the government on developing a sustainable future and initiatives dealing with climate change. The Minister of Environment will appoint a council of leaders from across the province representing a wide range of communities and interests.

- the Climate Change Education Challenge, which will award energy efficiency prizes to recognize actions by Saskatchewan students and schools to address the impacts of climate change.

- Household Hazardous Waste Days, through which communities which will receive a further $220,000 in support (building on a $60,000 commitment announced in March) for the collection and safe disposal of unwanted pesticide containers and other hazardous materials.

- Provincial air quality monitoring will be enhanced by an allocation of $200,000 more funding for the operation of the Mobile Air Monitoring Laboratory to collect air quality data from anywhere in the province accessible by road; this brings the total funding to $645,000 to date.

- Public education on sustainability will be supported by $580,000 to provide information to individuals, businesses and organizations about action they can take and on what others are already doing to help build a sustainable future.

- the Prairie Adaptation Research Centre (PARC) will receive $500,000 to support research on the impacts of climate change and adaptation strategies.

More information is available from Art Jones at Saskatchwewan Environment, 306/787-5796, E-mail art.jones@gov.sk.ca, Web site www.se.gov.sk.ca.

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