News release

Legislation Sets Ambitious New Environmental Goals

Nova Scotians understand that climate change is a global emergency and thanks to their hard work, the province is a national leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Government knows we need to do more. That is why Environment Minister Gordon Wilson tabled legislation today, Oct. 23, that sets ambitious new goals to fight climate change and grow the green economy.

The Sustainable Development Goals Act will:

  • reduce Nova Scotia’s greenhouse gas emissions by 53 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030
  • move Nova Scotia to a net zero carbon footprint by 2050
  • create a Sustainable Communities Challenge Fund to support community projects that fight climate change and grow the economy
  • ensure a new climate change strategy is in place by the end of 2020 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, expand Nova Scotia’s green economy and create jobs

“Nova Scotians have told us they expect urgent action to fight climate change. That’s why we are setting some of the most ambitious goals in North America,” said Mr. Wilson. “With this legislation, we’re continuing to lead the fight against climate change and building a strong, green economy that benefits all Nova Scotians.”


The round table is encouraged to see that government is renewing Nova Scotia’s pioneering environmental and sustainable prosperity legislation. We see this as an opportunity to accelerate committed, collaborative, stretch action by all sectors. Marty Janowitz, chair, Minister’s Round Table on Environment and Sustainable Prosperity

“I applaud the Province of Nova Scotia for putting forward a bill that, simply put, takes vital steps toward ensuring our survival. We know that the path to a growing and prosperous economy cannot happen without also shifting to a green economy."

David Mitchell, mayor, Town of Bridgewater

Quick Facts:

  • the Sustainable Development Goals Act replaces the Environmental Goals and Sustainability Prosperity Act (EGSPA). It will continue advancing Nova Scotia’s economic, social and environmental well-being
  • most of EGSPA’s goals have been achieved, such as having 25 per cent of electricity generated with renewable energy sources by 2015. The province is on track to exceed 40 per cent by 2020
  • government consulted with Nova Scotians and key stakeholders to develop the new legislation and will consult on more goals that will be set in regulations
  • the act commits the premier and relevant ministers to an annual meeting with the minister’s round table, a 15-member group that includes advocates and industry representatives
  • the greenhouse gas emissions goals are based on the latest science from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

Additional Resources:

More information about the legislation is available at:

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report is available at: .