News release

Legislation to Reduce Industrial Carbon Pollution

The government introduced amendments to the Environment Act today, October 18, in response to a new federal mandate that requires all provinces and territories to put a higher price on carbon pollution.

The changes will allow the government to create an output-based pricing system for industry, which will put a price on carbon pollution created by Nova Scotia Power Inc. and other industrial greenhouse gas emitters. The system will include emissions reduction targets, also called facility performance standards, and if emitters do not meet their target, they will have to pay a carbon price. The goal is to have large industrial emitters reduce their emissions by switching to clean energy sources and by making their operations more energy efficient.

“As Nova Scotians continue to experience the harmful impacts of climate change, we must all make changes to reduce our carbon footprint,” said Timothy Halman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change. “Nova Scotia is a leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and our government has committed to continue this leadership. Our future is clean energy, and industry has a critical role to both cut their emissions today and speed up their transition from fossil fuels to clean sources of energy to fuel their operations.”

Details of this new system, including the facilities that will be part of it, will be included in the regulations and standards that will be developed.

The proposed amendments will also:

  • create the Nova Scotia Climate Change Fund to help the province respond and adapt to climate change
  • repeal the cap-and-trade program after that program ends.

The new output-based pricing system will begin on January 1.

About 50 per cent of the greenhouse gas emissions emitted each year in Nova Scotia are from the electricity sector and industry. Another 44 per cent comes from transportation and the heating and cooling of homes and buildings.

“We put forward a made-in-Nova Scotia solution that would have achieved our climate change targets at a lower cost for Nova Scotians without a harmful consumer tax, but the federal government did not accept it,” said Minister Halman. “The model we are moving forward with now will hold industry more accountable for reducing their emissions and will help protect ratepayers from the more costly federal output-based pricing system for industry. We continue to make it very clear to the federal government that a federal consumer carbon tax is not needed in Nova Scotian to meet our greenhouse gas emission targets.”

Quick Facts:

  • Nova Scotia has one of the most ambitious 2030 greenhouse gas reduction targets in Canada – 53 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 – and has committed to achieving net-zero by 2050
  • these targets were legislated in the Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act in 2021
  • the act outlines Nova Scotia’s response to climate change, including commitments to close coal-fired power plants and have 80 per cent of electricity supplied by renewable sources by 2030
  • Nova Scotia will release a climate change plan by the end of this year with further details on how the 2030 emissions target will be achieved and setting the course for 2050
  • Nova Scotia’s cap-and-trade system will end after the compliance deadline in December 2023; dates for the last auctions will be announced early next year

Additional Resources:

Bills tabled in the legislature are available at:

News release – Carbon Plan Builds on Successful Record of Reducing Emissions:

Progress report on the Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act: