Environmental Goals & Climate Change Reduction Act Policy Background & Resources | Ecology Action Centre

Environmental Goals & Climate Change Reduction Act Policy Background & Resources


The Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act

We are pleased to see this set of wide-ranging targets in legislation. Now we need accountability, follow-through and immediate action to address the climate and biodiversity emergencies. 

The Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act (EGCCRA) is provincial legislation that will replace the Sustainable Development Goals Act (SDGA). 

We see several very positive aspects of the EGCCRA, including a commitment to phasing out coal by 2030, the inclusion of an electric vehicle mandate, a commitment to protecting 20 per cent of the province’s land and water by 2030 and a focus on equity as a core principle. We also see some key areas that are weak or missing. We need to ensure we're not undermining our own progress by continuing with outdated industries, fossil fuel extraction and unproven carbon capture technologies. Missteps here will continue to increase our emissions and threaten our ecosystems.

You can read our goal-by-goal analysis of the EGCCRA here.











What happens to the Sustainable Development Goals Act?

The Sustainable Development Goals was introduced with a commitment to hold public consultations in order to inform goals and regulations as well as a Climate Plan for Clean Growth. These public consultations were held this past summer from May 27, 2021 to July 26, 2021. People across Mi’kma’ki/Nova Scotia came out and submitted their vision of a just and sustainable future to the Nova Scotia government.  We are now awaiting a What We Heard Report which summarizes the input from Nova Scotians throughout the public consultation process. We hope and expect that the vision of Nova Scotians that was submitted during this consultation process will be taken into consideration as our government builds new environmental regulations and a climate plan.

Below you can read EAC's submission containing the 21 goals EAC recommended for inclusion in the Sustainable Development Goals Act, as well as the briefing notes and background information/research that informed it.


EAC's SDGA submission:


Briefing notes:


Other Resources:


A Multi-Jurisdictional Comparative Analysis of Sustainability Mandates of Electricity

This 2021 report prepared by East Coast Environmental Law explores whether sustainability mandates held by electricity regulators in Canadian and New England jurisdictions offer useful models for law amendments in Nova Scotia that would give a sustainability mandate to Nova Scotia’s electricity regulator, the Utility and Review Board (NSUARB). It also analyzes key legislative language and proposes amendments to the Public Utilities Act or Electricity Act or corresponding regulations and explains how those amendments would further the EAC’s goals for electricity reform in Nova Scotia. Click here to read the report and appendix.


Legal Analysis of SDGA regulations  

In November 2020, we commissioned a study from East Coast Environmental Law which gave legislative analyses of five of our proposed goals, detailing if and how Nova Scotia’s laws would need to change in order to implement the goals. The five goals analyzed are those pertaining to: renewable electricity, inclusive deep energy upgrades, energy efficiency, ending environmental racism, and protecting water. Additionally, the report examines Accountability and enforcement mechanisms for the SDGA as a whole. Click here to read the analysis. 


Green Jobs Report 

This 2019 report prepared for EAC by Gardner Pinfold Consulting explores the jobs and economic costs and benefits of select climate goals that EAC proposes for 2030. Click here to read the report.


Accelerating the Coal Phase Out: Nova Scotia and the Climate Emergency  

This 2019 report prepared for EAC by Ralph Torrie charts the path for a low-carbon electricity system in Nova Scotia. It proposes a scenario that leads to 90% renewable electricity, a complete phase-out of coal power, and significant increases in energy efficiency and electric transportation – all by the year 2030. Click here to read the report.


Electric Vehicle Adoption in Nova Scotia 2020-2030 

This 2020 report written by Dunsky Energy Consulting for the EAC details the provincial landscape for electric vehicles and demonstrates the need for provincial intervention in order to drive electric vehicle uptake at a rate that will allow us to meet our provincial GHG targets and our national EV targets. Click here to read the report.