FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 10, 2021
KJIPUKTUK (HALIFAX) – The Ecology Action Centre is applauding the Nova Scotia government’s commitment to phasing out coal by 2030 and becoming Canada’s first carbon-neutral province, announced in Tuesday’s Speech from the Throne.
“This is a commitment that community and environmental groups have been advocating for the better part of the last decade, and we’re happy to see decision makers finally catch up,” says Gurprasad Gurumurthy, Energy Coordinator, Renewables and Electricity with EAC. “But now government needs to honor this commitment with meaningful action.”
Pointing to an Energy Report released by EAC in 2019, Gurumurthy explains that “in order to achieve the new target, the province will need to get to work in a variety of areas. This includes significantly increasing renewable energy and energy storage, funding residential energy efficiency initiatives, and creating a provincial energy efficiency target, all while collaborating with other Atlantic provinces to implement the Atlantic Loop.” Gurumurthy also notes that if the province is serious about meeting the new target, it will need to ensure that the phase-out does not mean a long-term reliance on natural gas, and address the inaccurate and dangerous categorization of large-scale biomass as a renewable energy source – an issue that was once again absent in yesterday’s speech.
EAC stresses the need for a just transition strategy for workers in the coal industry, and measures to ensure that the phase-out does not unfairly affect communities that are already suffering from environmental degradation and rising inequity.
“We need to ensure that the coal phase out benefits all people living in Mi’kma’ki,” says Gurumurthy. “That includes those who are currently employed in the sector and those who are already disproportionately affected by the climate and inequity crises. The Lieutenant Governor was correct when he said that “the future will not take care of itself.” We need to work together as a province to create a concreate plan for our future. One that ensures a just transition to a low-carbon economy and leaves no one behind.”
Electricity Report: https://ecologyaction.ca/electricityreport
Gurprasad Gurumurthy – Energy Coordinator, Renewables and Electricity
Rowan Swain – Communications Officer