Mi’kma’ki (Nova Scotia) - On Friday, the Nova Scotia government released its first progress report for the Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act (EGCCRA). The Ecology Action Centre is very disappointed by a lack of baseline data that would help create a clear picture of the province’s progress on environmental and climate action, but is pleased to see the report highlighting strong work undertaken by communities across the province.
“In this moment, we all need to be working together to fight the climate and biodiversity crises, and this report shows communities across Mi’kma’ki doing just that,” says Marla MacLeod, director of programs with the EAC. “But to move forward together, it’s essential that we know where we stand. We need specific information on current emission inventories and performance on pathways to meet our 2050 goals, and for decision makers to address any challenges to achieving the targets laid out in EGCCRA. Simply put, being honest about where we are starting is the first step to ensuring we will get to where we need to be. At a minimum, the inaugural progress report should be a clear baseline. On these fronts, the report falls short.”
EAC also points to a lack of clarity and context for certain facts being presented within the progress report, which can cause confusion for the public.
“The report notes the fact that 30.4 per cent of our electricity is coming from renewable sources. What it fails to mention is that Nova Scotia Power was supposed to reach 40 per cent by 2020 and is not holding up their end of the bargain,” says MacLeod. “The province celebrates protecting 266 hectares of Crown Land through the re-listing of Owls Head as a provincial park. However, it is the only land protected to date by this government, and at this rate it will take hundreds of years to reach our 20 per cent land protection target. Context is important.”
MacLeod notes that improving accountability to the EGCCRA targets will also improve predictability of climate and environmental action, thus bolstering confidence for investors, businesses, municipal and federal governments and the public.
Despite a distressing lack of clear baseline data, MacLeod says she was happy to see the great work of communities across the province highlighted in the report.
“It’s clear that communities are stepping up to take action, and this is great to see,” says MacLeod. “Nova Scotians want a fair and sustainable future for their families and communities, and this report shows that they are willing to fight for it. In EGCCRA we have legislation with solid environmental goals. What we need now is a government that is accountable and shows decisive progress towards these goals.”