FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, October 23, 2019
K’JIPUKTUK (Halifax) - Today, the province introduced legislation that will enable Nova Scotians to set new and updated environmental goals. The Sustainable Development Goals Act replaces the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act, which was introduced with all-party support in 2007.
Mark Butler, Policy Director with the Ecology Action Centre, says today’s legislation lays an important foundation for the hard work ahead.
“Today the province sent a clear signal that they are ready to take action on climate change and a wide range of important environmental goals. We’re happy to see them take this step and we know that Nova Scotians will continue to push for stronger targets and a climate justice framework,” says Butler.
The Act includes a legislated GHG emissions reduction target for the year 2030, legislates net zero emissions by 2050, and commits to a new climate change plan that will be developed over the next year.
The EAC has been calling for new climate goals in Nova Scotia for more than two years.
“Ambitious climate goals and a strong framework based on fairness is exactly what we need. Setting good targets will create thousands of green jobs. We can absolutely do this in a way that prioritizes workers and communities, and leaves no one behind,” says Stephen Thomas, Energy Campaign Coordinator at EAC.
The new GHG emissions reduction target is the strongest in Canada to date.
“We know that no government is doing enough to address the climate crisis. This is a good step, and we hope this Act inspires and encourages other provinces and the Federal government to be more ambitious with their own climate goals,” says Thomas
According to both the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the Paris Agreement, the new provincial target needs to go further if Nova Scotia wants to do its fair share toward keeping global temperature rise below 1.5°C.
The new provincial target results in 11.2 million tonnes of provincial GHG emissions (53% below 2005 levels) by 2030, whereas the EAC believes the target must be no more than 9.8 Million tonnes (50% below 20030 levels) by 2030.
“We can come together to ensure Nova Scotia is on the right track and doing its fair share to avoid the worst of the climate crisis. We believe that government is ready to listen, and that Nova Scotians will have their voices heard in the upcoming consultations,” says Thomas.
The Act sets out a requirement for public consultations to take place in the coming year that will inform the development of new targets for things like renewable electricity, energy efficiency, clean transportation, local food, wilderness protection, waste diversion and more. The Act also establishes a Sustainable Communities Challenge Fund and requires that sustainable prosperity be included in all provincial department mandates.
Meghan McMorris, Community Energy Coordinator at EAC says today’s announcement shows the province is ready to listen to Nova Scotians calls for action on the climate crisis, and work toward building a sustainable, just and prosperous Nova Scotia.
“We applaud the province for making a commitments to ensure the experiences and perspectives of communities are included in a provincial climate strategy. Supporting communities financially to take innovative action, that best serves their needs and concerns, is a big step forward for effective climate action.
The recently announced Sustainable Development Goals Act includes a legislated climate target of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 53% below 2005 levels by 2030. This is currently the most ambitious GHG reduction target in Canada, but is still insufficient. Click here for an in-depth background document on GHG emissions targets.
For more information, please contact:
Policy Director, Ecology Action Centre
+1 902 266 5401
Energy Campaign Coordinator, Ecology Action Centre
+1 902 441 7136
Community Energy Coordinator, Ecology Action Centre
+1 902 809 7661