Province Seeks Feedback on Changes to Move to a Cleaner, Greener Future

Energy/Environment

June 7, 2013 2:21 PM

The province is looking for feedback on proposed regulations that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality in Nova Scotia.

Environment Minister Sterling Belliveau and Energy Minister Charlie Parker announced the consultation today, June 7.

"Nova Scotia is turning a corner economically and environmentally," said Mr. Belliveau. "Sulphur-dioxide emissions are half of what they were in 2001, nitrogen oxides emissions are down 20 per cent, and Nova Scotia is using 25 per cent less coal to generate electricity. Still, there is room for improvement."

The federal government has implemented tough new coal-reduction and greenhouse-gas emission laws that provinces and territories must follow and Nova Scotia must find new sources of clean, renewable energy to meet the standards. The lowest-cost option that achieves the goal is the Maritime Link project, which would bring clean hydro-electricity to Nova Scotia from Newfoundland and Labrador.

The changes continue Nova Scotia's progress towards a cleaner electricity supply by proposing caps for greenhouse gases that would reduce emissions by 55 per cent from 2007 levels by 2030. This will allow the province to continue its lower-cost approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

"This is an example of why it is so important that we diversify our energy supply and no longer continue to rely on one source of energy, as we have with coal for many years," said Mr. Parker. "The province is committed to diversifying our energy mix to include wind, hydro, natural gas, tidal and biomass. This will help us protect the environment and meet our energy needs."

The province's energy plan addresses Nova Scotia's energy needs now and in the future. It will help foster a growing economy by producing and utilizing energy that is local, reliable, green, tax-free and efficient.

"CME's industrial base throughout Nova Scotia has been watching the proposed schedule regarding greenhouse gas reduction," said Ann Janega, vice-president, Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters. "We've been searching for options that will provide a healthier environment but, at the same time, be sustainable and affordable for all Nova Scotians. Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters believe that the proposed provincial regulations, and timeline, offer a reasonable alternative. We look forward to participating in the consultation process."

"We're off to good start," says Catherine Abreu, regional energy co-ordinator at the Ecology Action Centre. "Nova Scotia is ready to build on this leadership and commit to an ambitious timeline for phasing out coal entirely."

The province is also proposing regulations to improve local air quality.

Better air quality can mean long-term health benefits and better quality of life for many, especially people with breathing difficulties.

A discussion paper and details about how to participate in the consultation are available at
www.gov.ns.ca/nse/resources/public.consultation.asp . Responses must be received by July 8.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     The province is looking for feedback on proposed regulatory

changes that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve

air quality in Nova Scotia.

     Environment Minister Sterling Belliveau says Nova Scotia is

turning the corner economically and environmentally. Significant

improvements in air quality have been made yet there is still

room for improvement.

     New federal regulations for coal reduction and greenhouse

gas emissions mean Nova Scotia has to find new sources of clean

energy. The lowest cost option to meet these requirements is the

Maritime Link project that will bring clean hydro-electricity

from Newfoundland and Labrador to Nova Scotia.

     Industry and environmental organizations support the

proposed regulations and will participate in the consultation.

     A discussion paper is on the Environment department's

website and responses must be received by July 8th.

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Media Contacts: Lori Errington
                Department of Environment
                902-424-7420
                Cell: 902-497-7324
                E-mail: erringla@gov.ns.ca

                Darcy MacRae
                Department of Energy
                Cell: 902-483-4625
                E-mail: macraeda@gov.ns.ca