The Province Nova Scotia released its first annual report on July 22 regarding the work underway to address climate change and drive the province towards a healthy, clean and sustainable future.
“We are focused on creating opportunities and a future where our people, our economy and our province are healthy,” said Nova Scotia’s Environment and Climate Change Minister Timothy Halman. “We are at a pivotal moment with momentum building. This report demonstrates that across government and in communities throughout the province, Nova Scotians are taking action that will improve the quality of life for everyone, and set us on a path to sustainable prosperity.”
The Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act, passed in the House of Assembly in October 2021, is the province’s roadmap to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, grow the green economy, improve the health and sustainability of Nova Scotia’s environment, protect more land and water, grow the circular economy – extending the life of products by reducing, reusing, repurposing and recycling – and move to clean, renewable energy.
Work on the legislation’s 28 goals that has been done or is underway includes:
- protecting 266 hectares of Crown land at Owls Head as a provincial park
- investing $44.9 million from revenue from the carbon pricing program to support energy efficiency and the transition to a low-carbon economy
- exploring opportunities for Nova Scotia to become a leader in the clean renewable energy sector, including green hydrogen production and offshore wind
- committing $15 million to create the Sustainable Communities Challenge Fund to help communities adapt to climate change, mitigate its effects, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create jobs
- adding 10 per cent more renewable electricity to the grid and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by more than one million tonnes annually through a request for proposals for low-cost, innovative wind and solar solutions
- completing consultation on expanding Nova Scotia’s extended producer responsibility program to add printed paper and packaging (blue bag materials) and batteries, lighting and additional electronics; regulations are being developed
- drafting the Coastal Protection Act regulations
- updating resources in the Science 10 course for environmental stewardship and climate change, and developing a new Environmental Studies 12 course centered on Netukulimk, from the Mi’kmaw concept of looking after one another in environmentally sustainable ways
- consulting to update the provincial Air Quality regulations
- investing $57 million in expanding energy efficiency programming for homes and businesses across the province
- investing $2.5 million in the Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment in Sydney to expand into a national centre for biomanufacturing
- working to create a panel by the end of 2022 to address environmental racism
- continuing to create an updated climate plan and risk assessment; to be announced later this year
- creating a new provincial program to support the consumption of local food, Nova Scotia Loyal, which is in the prototyping phase
- implementing the new forest practices’ guide to ensure a sustainable forestry industry
The 2022 progress report on the Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act also includes stories from Nova Scotians that celebrate how they are making a difference in their communities in responding to climate change and protecting the environment.
“The Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act sets a broad and ambitious agenda for climate change and environmental goal setting for our province. The roundtable looks forward to the annual reporting process to help acknowledge successes, as well as identify challenges, risks and actions on the road to meeting all 28 goals,” said Scott Skinner, chair of the Minister’s Roundtable on the Environment and Sustainable Prosperity.
“If government, private sector and citizens all work together, we can turn the climate challenge into opportunity and well-being for our province.”
The full report is available at: https://novascotia.ca/nse/progress-report/