FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, May 3, 2017
K’JIPUKTUK (HALIFAX) – The EAC is encouraging all parties to tell Nova Scotians how they will protect the environment and build the green economy if elected. The EAC has identified four priorities for the next Nova Scotia Government to implement. Download the press release here.
Coastal: Establish a Coastal Protection Act that protects people, property, and coastal ecosystems.
Nova Scotia has over 13,000 km of coastlines that are home to 70% of the population. “Our coastline is part of how we define ourselves—think ‘Canada’s Ocean Playground,’” says Samantha Page, Coastal Adaptation Coordinator. “However, our coasts are threatened by inappropriate development and sea-level rise. Threats to our coasts are also threats to our livelihoods, and our identity,” says Page, “Let's not wait until the next big storm to do something about this.”
Climate Change: Reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% below 1990 levels by 2030.
Nova Scotia is currently 17% below 1990 levels, but has no firm targets for the next decade. We’ve defaulted to a national target which is the weakest in the G7 and inconsistent with climate science. Though Nova Scotia has taken major steps to improve energy security and reduce emissions, we still have some of the highest greenhouse gas emissions per capita in Canada. “Nova Scotia has lost its place as a climate leader and is at risk of being left behind,” says Stephen Thomas, Energy Campaign Coordinator, “We must build on past success, commit to firm climate targets, and support workers transitioning to the growing green economy.”
Forestry: Regulate clearcutting and recommit to the reforms outlined in the Natural Resources Strategy.
Five years ago the Nova Scotia Government committed to reduce clearcutting to no more than 50% of all forest harvesting and prevent destructive forestry practices. “Today clearcutting is at 89%, herbicide spraying is still common-place, and there are no restrictions on whole-tree harvesting,” says Raymond Plourde, Wilderness Coordinator, “These are not the forestry practices Nova Scotians agreed to during the three-year multiphase public policy process, that informed the Natural Resources Strategy in 2011, and engaged thousands of citizens and experts across the province.”
Active Transportation: Invest $11 million per year until 2025 in active transportation infrastructure.
“Currently the Nova Scotian government invests 99% of its transportation budget in motorized transport; it’s time to shift investment toward active transportation,” says Eliza Jackson, Sustainable Transportation Coordinator, “Active transportation has a high return on investment, as it reduces healthcare costs.” Nova Scotia has short window of opportunity to leverage federal green infrastructure spending that will enable more people, including children and seniors, to access the many benefits of cycling and walking.
The Centre, in partnership with Sierra Club and East Coast Environmental Law, is organizing a public debate. Event details will be shared in an additional press release.
The Centre is also a proud member of the Environmental Rights Working Group and supports the creation of an Environmental Bill of Rights, so that all Nova Scotians will be protected from the impacts of environmental degradation and will have equal access to government decision-making.
EAC is a non-partisan organization and information provided is intended to inform all voters and candidates.
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For further information, please contact:
Mark Butler , Policy Director
Samantha Page, Coastal Adaptation Coordinator
Stephen Thomas, Energy Campaign Coordinator
Raymond Plourde, Wilderness Coordinator
Eliza Jackson, Sustainable Transportation Coordinator