FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, August 27, 2019
K’JIPUKTUK (HALIFAX) - After two years of delay, the Nova Scotia government is turning to the public for help shaping a strategic vision for the environment and economy. Starting today, a new online consultation asks Nova Scotians to answer three questions on key concepts, areas of focus, and a new name for Nova Scotia's Environmental Goals and Sustainability Act (EGSPA).
Stephen Thomas, Energy Campaign Coordinator at the Ecology Action Centre, says he and his colleagues are happy to finally see some movement to set new goals.
“Nova Scotia has no legislated climate and environmental goals past 2020,” Thomas says, “Strong, measurable climate goals are our best chance at addressing the climate crisis and strengthening the green economy in a way that ensures no one is left behind.”
Thomas says public consultation is essential to forming ambitious, inclusive goals.
“We’re at a critical time in history, with no more time to waste. We need ambitious, inclusive goals that move Nova Scotia to a low-carbon economy, create thousands of good jobs and are based in justice,” Thomas says.
According to a new Abacus Data poll, 50 per cent of Atlantic Canadians believe government is doing too little on combating climate change.
While the Ecology Action Centre is encouraged that there will be consultation, they say online-only consultation is inadequate.
“Nova Scotians are already experiencing the impacts of climate change. We know that some communities are disproportionately impacted by climate change and weak environmental protections,” says Thomas, “In-person consultation directly with communities will help form goals that serve everyone and provide an opportunity to showcase successes.”
Tentatively named the Sustainable Prosperity Act, the new plan will update the Environmental Goals and Sustainability Act (EGSPA). EGSPA includes goals on wilderness protection, solid waste, water quality, local food production and other environmental and economic areas.
“Good goals made us a national leader on climate change and other environmental priorities,” says Mark Butler, Policy Director at EAC, “They have already created more than 2,000 good jobs in energy efficiency, renewable energy and clean tech.”
It’s been more than seven years since the provincial government set new climate goals, despite a promise to do so in 2016.
Online consultation runs until September 27. The results will help inform a new set of legislated climate and environmental goals.
Online Consultation Portal: https://novascotia.ca/sustainable-prosperity-act-consultation/
For more information please contact:
Energy Campaign Coordinator, Ecology Action Centre
Mark Butler (entrevue disponible en français)
Policy Director, Ecology Action Centre