N.S. releases Climate Change plan for clean growth

Environment Minister Tim Halman. (Submitted Photo)

HALIFAX: Nova Scotia is taking action to create a cleaner, more sustainable future, the province said in a release Dec. 7 outlining its next steps to address climate change and reach its 2030 greenhouse gas emission reduction targets.

Our Climate, Our Future: Nova Scotia’s Climate Change Plan for Clean Growth has 68 actions that were framed by the new provincial climate change risk assessment, conversations with Nova Scotians and opportunities to reduce emissions. The actions build on the goals in the Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act.

“Our plan will help Nova Scotians reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, save on their energy bills, and prepare for the impacts of climate change,” said Timothy Halman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change. “We will do that by transitioning our electricity, building and transportation sectors off fossil fuels and taking advantage of opportunities within the clean economy.

“Together, we have an opportunity to make positive change and work together to protect each other and all that we value.”

The plan represents the government’s commitment to develop, co-ordinate and lead actions that promote sustainable prosperity for all Nova Scotians. The actions are grouped into four areas:
— responding to climate change impacts
— reducing greenhouse gas emissions
— seizing opportunities for a cleaner, sustainable economy
— reporting and evaluating progress.

The plan will guide climate change work across 15 provincial departments over the next five years, require collaboration with municipalities, industry and other partners, and will set Nova Scotia on a path to meet greenhouse gas reduction targets and prepare for a changing climate.

“We owe it to future generations of Nova Scotians to transform how we deliver electricity, heat our homes and get around. This move to green energy, along with responsible use of our natural resources, is my Department’s commitment in this plan to help build a sustainable and prosperous future for Nova Scotians.”
     – Tory Rushton, Minister of Natural Resources and Renewables

“The members of the Minister’s roundtable are happy to see the release of Nova Scotia’s climate plan. The actions will be key to addressing the challenges outlined in the provincial risk assessment, as well as achieving the goals and targets in the Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act. The important work of implementing the plan lies ahead and will require an all-hands-on-deck approach. This means government, the private sector and civil society must work together with common purpose to drive clean inclusive growth and improve community well-being. We’re pleased the plan has built-in accountability, and we look forward to supporting the minister and staff across government as we transition to a low-carbon economy that is fair and equitable for all Nova Scotians.”
     – Scott Skinner, Chair, Minister’s Roundtable on the Environment and Sustainable Prosperity; President and CEO, Clean Foundation

“Youth like me are preparing to enter the clean economy and are excited to do so. We see the numerous opportunities and the important impacts the work will have. Supporting youth early in their careers helps develop the leaders we will need to make this transition.”
     – Megan Farley, intern, Clean Foundation

“The Port of Halifax is committed to sustainable operations, which include our role in responding to climate change by reducing our emissions, taking action to mitigate the impacts of climate change on our infrastructure, and leading work and conversation on transitioning from fossil fuels to clean and renewable fuels, including green hydrogen. We look forward to working collaboratively with governments at all levels and with our industry partners to bring about meaningful change.”
     – Capt. Allan Gray, President and CEO, Halifax Port Authority

Quick Facts:
— the latest climate risk assessment confirms Nova Scotia is getting warmer, precipitation patterns are changing, sea levels are rising, storms are becoming more frequent and intense, and oceans are changing
— Nova Scotia has the strongest greenhouse gas reductions target in the country – 53 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 and is committed to net-zero by 2050
— climate actions were developed with feedback from Nova Scotians during consultation in 2021 (1,478 individuals and organizations responded with more than 5,600 ideas)
— the actions continue the work to meet the legislated climate change targets in the Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act, including increasing renewable energy and increasing access to energy efficient homes

Additional Resources:
Our Climate, Our Future: Nova Scotia’s Climate Change Plan for Clean Growth: https://climatechange.novascotia.ca/sites/default/files/uploads/ns-climate-change-plan.pdf

Report on climate change plan consultation: https://cleanfuture.ca/

Nova Scotia’s climate change risk assessment report – Weathering What’s Ahead: Climate Change Risk and Nova Scotia’s Well-being: https://climatechange.novascotia.ca/climate-impacts