FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021
KJIPUKTUK (HALIFAX) – The Ecology Action Centre is encouraged by the Nova Scotia government’s announcement yesterday, which outlined investments in electric vehicles and energy efficiency, as well as new targets for renewables.
“We’re happy to see substantive plans by the province that will help address the climate crisis on day two of Premier Rankin’s tenure,” says Kelsey Lane, Climate Policy Senior Coordinator with EAC. “There is much work ahead if this government is to live up to its commitment to support communities through transformative change that is needed to address the climate and biodiversity crises, but this is a good start.”
The announcement covered a number of areas, including an incentive for electric vehicles. In addition to the Federal electric vehicle incentives, the provincial government announced a rebate of $3,000 for new EVs, $2,000 for used EVs and $500 for electric bicycles.
“Emissions from transportation account for 27% of our provincial greenhouse gas emissions. Electric vehicle incentives are critical to driving electric vehicle uptake in Nova Scotia and ensuring that more people can access clean transportation options,” explains Lane.
Another highlight was the announcement of substantial investments in energy efficiency through the HomeWarming and Affordable Multi-Family Housing energy efficiency programs.
“Reducing greenhouse gas emissions by investing in energy efficiency retrofits in existing buildings is one of the most effective ways our province can do its part to combat climate change,” says Ben Grieder, Energy Coordinator - Energy Efficiency with EAC. “EAC's Green Jobs Report shows that investing in energy efficiency creates jobs, increases thermal comfort in homes and makes energy more affordable for everyone. The new $9.5 million investment is a welcome sign.”
Though there was much to applaud in yesterday’s announcement, EAC feels that aspects of the province’s plan require more ambition and clarity. Notably missing from the announcement was any mention of either nature-based climate solutions or the inaccurate and dangerous categorization of large-scale biomass as a renewable energy source. Rankin also committed to achieving 80% renewables by 2030, but a 2019 Electricity Report prepared by EAC shows the province could reach 90% renewables by 2030 and phase-out coal completely.
“In an increasingly warming world, it will be critical to maximizing clean energy in the province as early as possible through bold action,” says Guruprasad Gurumurthy, Energy Coordinator - Renewables and Electricity with EAC. “The province is still way off the mark in terms of the 40% by 2020 renewables target. The new renewable electricity standard being announced next month will need to revamp existing definitions if we want to achieve the 80% target by 2030.”
EAC stresses that although the announcement is a good first step, the time has come for decisive and swift action on the climate emergency.
“This announcement is cause for optimism, but the urgency of getting to work on climate change cannot be overstated,” says Lane. “We hope that these measures signal the transformational change needed to truly tackle the climate crisis in Mi’kma’ki.”
Electric Vehicle Adoption Report: https://bit.ly/EACEV
Electricity Report: https://ecologyaction.ca/electricityreport
Green jobs Report: https://ecologyaction.ca/greenjobsreport
Kelsey Lane - Climate Policy Senior Coordinator
Ben Grieder - Energy Coordinator, Energy Efficiency
Gurprasad Gurumurthy - Energy Coordinator, Renewables and Electricity
Claire Parsons - Strategic Communications Manager