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Rural Saskatchewan municipalities say CO2 is not a polluting gas

University of Regina environmental studies professor Emily Eaton says the new MRSA resolution flies in the face of current science. (Archive photo)

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On Thursday, members of the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities (SARM) voted 95% in favor of the decision. a resolution affirming that carbon dioxide, also called CO2, is not a polluting gas, which has drawn criticism from several experts.

During their annual conference, they also asked the provincial government to withdraw from national and international agreements that aim to achieve carbon neutrality.

University of Regina environmental studies professor Emily Eaton believes the new MRSA resolution flies in the face of current science.

Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. So that means that when we increase the concentration of this gas in the atmosphere, we observe global warming, she says.

SARM President Ray Orb said Thursday that his members do not benefit from the benefits of the carbon tax and that the Prairies already have a green economy.

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According to Emily Eaton, Saskatchewan is not doing enough to reduce its greenhouse gases. She estimates that the province is one of the most polluting jurisdictions in the entire world.

Lecturer in environmental chemistry at the University of Sherbrooke François Lafortune is also concerned about the result of the vote by SARM members.

It is certain that as a scientist it is extremely surprising. In general, the status of these chemical compounds is not a political decision, it is a decision truly based on science, he recalls.

The expert specifies that the problem is not CO2 itself, but the excess CO2 produced by human activities and which causes global warming.

CO2 is a bit like water. We need water to live, it is critical for life. Obviously, excess water is damaging, it can create flooding, and so on. CO2 is a bit the same thing, it depends on the context, he illustrates.

In a written statement, the president and CEO of the Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA), Jean-Marc Nadeau, affirms that the policy of The climate change body recognizes the need to reduce emissions.

SUMA also believes in the likelihood that climate change will lead to drought and other extreme weather events.

For its part, SUMA provincial government affirmed in a press release Friday that reducing greenhouse gases is important, but that it should not be done to the detriment of economic development and the enrichment of families.

According to the province, the government's climate change strategy Prairie Resilience allows you to reduce greenhouse gas emissions without implementing a punitive carbon tax, like the federal government.

There are several ways to help the environment, but the imposition of federal control of emissions does not help at all, especially the carbon tax, believes for his part the president of SARM, Ray Orb.

With information from Fatoumata Traore, Emeline Riffenach, and Sacha-Wilky Merazil

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