News release

Legislation to Address Climate Crisis, Guide Province to Cleaner, Sustainable Future

The Province is introducing an ambitious plan to guide Nova Scotia toward a cleaner, healthier environment where the benefits of being a leader in environmental sustainability and a better quality of life go hand in hand.

The Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act introduced today, October 27, sets 28 new goals, including the strongest 2030 greenhouse gas emission reduction target in Canada. Nova Scotia is committing to reduce emissions to at least 53 per cent below the levels that were emitted in 2005 by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050.

The legislation also requires that equity be a principle throughout all of the goals.

“Nova Scotians care deeply about the environment and the changing climate and we have listened to their ideas about greening our economy and protecting the environment,” said Environment and Climate Change Minister Tim Halman. “We are at a pivotal moment and this legislation will showcase Nova Scotia as a world leader in adopting and achieving bold environmental goals. Nova Scotians have shown – in environmental action and through this pandemic – that we can have a greater and more positive impact when we work together.”

The legislation contains solutions that will guide Nova Scotia toward sustainable prosperity over the next 10 years and beyond. It will result in the Province working more closely with partners to encourage the growth of a cleaner economy and greening of traditional industries.

Some of the goals include:

  • 80 per cent of Nova Scotia’s energy to be supplied by renewable energy by 2030
  • 30 per cent of vehicle sales by 2030 to be zero-emission vehicles
  • conserve at least 20 per cent of total land and water mass
  • develop a provincial food strategy and support consumption of local food
  • modernize the environmental assessment process to include consideration of cumulative impacts; Netukulimk – the traditional Mi’kmaq concept of connection and balance between the natural and human worlds; diversity, equity and inclusion; climate change; and independent review
  • reduce solid waste disposal rates to no more than 300 kilograms per person per year by 2030.

The legislation commits the government to releasing annual progress reports. The Minister’s Round Table on the Environment and Sustainable Prosperity will also carry out a review of the legislation within five years.


With this legislation, Nova Scotia will have a broad and ambitious set of targets, goals and actions to guide our collective efforts in the challenge of the climate emergency over the next decade and toward a net zero and sustainable future. The Minister’s round table looks forward to providing support and tracking progress on the many efforts required to achieve sustainable prosperity, while focusing on equity and the well-being of all Nova Scotians. Scott Skinner, Chair, Minister’s Round Table on the Environment and Sustainable Prosperity

Quick Facts:

  • a climate change plan outlining specific actions will follow in the spring
  • Netukulimk is defined by the Mi’kmaq as the use of the natural bounty provided by the Creator for the self-support and well-being of the individual and the community by achieving adequate standards of community nutrition and economic well-being without jeopardizing the integrity, diversity or productivity of the environment
  • this legislation builds on the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act, which was introduced and passed in 2007
  • consultations on the new act were held from May 27 to July 26; 1,342 submissions containing more than 5,600 individual ideas were shared

Additional Resources:

Bills tabled in the legislature are available at:

Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act:

Summary of the feedback from consultations: