FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 24, 2020
K’JIPUKTUK (HALIFAX) – On Wednesday, the Government of Canada delivered the speech from the throne and with it came great news for clean energy in Atlantic Canada. Ecology Action Centre believes this could mean a larger proportion of Nova Scotia’s electricity is bound to transition away from coal. Nova Scotia currently has the most coal-intensive electricity grid in Canada.
In Wednesday's speech, the government announced it would "transform how we power our economy and communities by moving forward with the Clean Power Fund, including with projects like the Atlantic Loop that will connect surplus clean power to regions transitioning away from coal."
“The throne speech calls for clean energy to fight climate change, by overachieving 2030 climate commitments and legislating the net-zero 2050 emissions goal,” explains Gurprasad Gurumurthy, Energy Coordinator for Ecology Action Centre. “This is a strong message and echoes what environmental groups have been advocating for.”
This is an opportunity for Atlantic jurisdictions and utilities, including Nova Scotia Power and the Province of Nova Scotia, to reimagine our future energy system and choose a low carbon-low cost option over investments in coal and natural gas infrastructure, which are neither clean (including fugitive methane emissions from Natural Gas extraction) nor sustainable.
Clean energy imports will ensure stable, affordable and reliable electricity supply to the province. Since the economics of new transmission infrastructure is changing, stakeholders, like EAC, will want to see a revised scenario modelled in Nova Scotia Power’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2020.
Also, among yesterday’s promises, the government has reaffirmed its commitment for a green and just recovery. This includes a promise to introduce legislation to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples before the end of this year, the ban on single use plastics by next year, and the recommitment to protecting 25% of Canada’s land and sea by 2025. EAC is also happy to see the government’s pledge to help deliver more transit and active transit options, and its commitment to make zero-emission vehicles more affordable while investing in additional battery technology and charging stations across Canada.
While EAC commends the speech and the commitments it presents, we have seen promises from this government go unfulfilled in the past. We look forward to learning how the government plans to truly implement the vision laid out in the throne speech on Wednesday.
Strategic Communications Manager
Energy Coordinator (Renewables & Electricity), Ecology Action Centre