Ecology Action Centre Raises Concerns About Proposed Nova Scotia Cap-and-Trade System.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
K’JIPUKTUK (Halifax) March 23, 2017 – On March 8th, the Nova Scotia government released a discussion paper, outlining its proposed framework for the upcoming cap-and-trade system in Nova Scotia, and asking stakeholders for feedback on specific design options. The Ecology Action Centre released it’s preliminary position statement on the paper, today.
The release of the discussion paper comes after an announcement in November 2016, when the province committed to adopt a cap-and-trade carbon pricing model, similar to Ontario and Quebec, instead of a carbon tax or levy similar to BC or Alberta. New Brunswick and PEI have yet to formally choose a carbon pricing option.
“We’re encouraged by the movement toward building a carbon pricing framework in Nova Scotia. However, we’re concerned by the direction outlined in the Discussion Paper, and the lack of public engagement on this important issue.” said Stephen Thomas, Energy Campaign Coordinator with the Ecology Action Centre.
Nova Scotia is proposing a unique system, in that it gives away carbon pollution allocations, or ‘credits’, for free, and the system of allocations is not linked to other jurisdictions for trading.
“What is effectively being proposed is a subsidy for some large emitters. We believe that families and innovative low-carbon solutions should receive financial aid and incentives under this system, not polluters.” said Thomas. “Making the decision not to collect revenue is concerning because this means there is no opportunity to support low- and middle-income families struggling with energy poverty, nor support innovative technologies or job skills training for workers making the transition to the prosperous green economy.”
Although the cap-and-trade system is set to be in place for decades, and will affect most aspects of the Nova Scotia economy, there is only focused consultation with large stakeholders and industry over a three-week period, and an online portal for a 34-part technical survey, before the system is further developed.
“For other recent energy policies in Nova Scotia, we’ve had broad, successful public consultation with expert review.” said Thomas. “We did this with the creation of Efficiency Nova Scotia, the ban on hydraulic fracking, and our community renewables and renewable electricity standards. We celebrate those policies now, and Nova Scotians deserve the same level of commitment and opportunity for engagement when it comes to this proposed cap-and-trade system.”
The Ecology Action Centre makes a number of policy recommendations in it’s preliminary position statement, and encourages others to do the same. The online portal and comment period is open until March 31st, although stakeholders are encouraged to send comments even after that date. The Ecology Action Centre is also hosting a panel series from March through May about the different aspects of a cap-and-trade system. The second event is this evening at 4:00pm at Dalhousie University and is titled ‘Ensuring Equity’.
“We deserve a system that Nova Scotians can be excited about, one that is ambitious, and that accounts for the most vulnerable. We deserve a system that has a clear vision and that strengthens and expands opportunities for Nova Scotians in our growing green economy.” said Thomas.
Energy Campaign Coordinator, Ecology Action Centre
902 441 7136 email@example.com
Full Ecology Action Centre Position Statement:
Ecology Action Centre Cap and Trade Panel Series:
Nova Scotia Environment Cap-and-Trade Discussion Paper: