Emissions Caps to Improve Environment

Environment

February 26, 2009 10:44 AM

A major step in Nova Scotia's climate change action plan was taken today, Feb. 26.

The province released a discussion paper outlining its proposed approach to capping greenhouse-gas and air-pollutant emissions from the electricity sector. Environment Minister David Morse is asking for Nova Scotians' comments on government's proposed regulatory framework.

"We all want a cleaner and greener future for our province so we are asking Nova Scotians for their views on the effectiveness of this proposed approach to reducing greenhouse-gas and air-pollutant emissions," said Mr. Morse. "This proposed regulatory approach sets out the electricity sector's role in helping our province meet its emissions reductions."

The Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act commits the province to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions to at least 10 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020. It also calls for significant air pollutant reductions.

The province's approach to achieve these emissions reductions, includes absolute caps on emissions from electricity producers.

In keeping with its climate change action plan, the government is proposing regulations that will require Nova Scotia Power Inc. to cap greenhouse-gas and air-pollutant emissions at 9.7 million tonnes in 2010, at 8.8 million tonnes in 2015, and 7.5 million tonnes in 2020. That is a total reduction of 2.5 million tonnes, down from about 10 million tonnes produced by NSPI in 2007.

Since the electricity sector represents about 50 per cent of Nova Scotia's greenhouse-gas emissions, NSPI's reductions should be about half of the provincial reduction target. These caps will ensure that happens.

A phased approach to transform the province's electricity system will help incorporate cleaner energy solutions that allow increasing amounts of energy efficiency and renewable energy to be brought onstream, between now and 2020.

There will also be a gradual transformation to cleaner energy sources. They may include potential for tidal power and imports of cleaner energy from large hydro projects, such as the Lower Churchill facility.

The approach provides flexibility on an annual basis because electricity supply and demand depends on unpredictable variables such as weather, the economy, and fluctuations in renewable resources such as wind and hydro. Significant financial penalties will be imposed daily if emissions reduction caps are not met.

The caps will take effect Jan. 1, 2010 and will require increasingly stringent reductions.

The discussion paper about the proposed approach to capping emissions in the electricity sector can be viewed at www.climatechange.gov.ns.ca .

To comment on the discussion paper, or to obtain a physical copy, e-mail policy@gov.ns.ca, or write to Department of Environment, Policy Division, Box 442, Halifax, N.S., B3J 2P8. People can comment by phone at 902-424-3081 or fax at 902-428-3139.

The deadline for submissions is March 31.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     A major step in Nova Scotia's climate change action plan

was taken today (February 26th).

     The province has released its proposed approach to capping

greenhouse-gas and air-pollutant emissions.

     Environment Minister David Morse says he looks forward to

public input on the discussion paper.

     The proposal will ensure the electricity sector caps its

greenhouse-gas and air-pollutant emissions at 9.7 million tonnes

in 2010, at 8.8 million tonnes in 2015, and 7.5 million tonnes in

2020. That's a total reduction of 2.5 million tonnes.

     The discussion paper is available by contacting the

Department of Environment and on its website.

     The deadline for submissions is March 31st.

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Media Contact: Bruce Nunn
              Department of Environment
              902-424-6427
              Cell: 476-6454
              E-mail: nunnbx@gov.ns.ca