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7.6 Provincial Summary: Nova Scotia

Reality Check: The State of Climate Progress in Canada

Emissions profile

In 2009, Nova Scotia contributed 21 Mt CO2e to Canada’s total emissions, an 11% increase in emissions since 1990. A breakdown of 2009 emissions by source is provided in Figure 34.

Emission reductions measures by source

Stationary energy emissions contribute 69% of Nova Scotia’s total emissions and within that, electricity and heat generation is responsible for two thirds of emissions. About 75% of electricity comes from burning coal. In 2009, Nova Scotia created legislation to regulate power generating facilities emitting 10,000 tonnes per year or higher.ll Existing coal plants will have to be shut down at the end of their 40-year commercial lifespan unless they can be refitted with carbon-capture-and-storage equipment. Nova Scotia is the first province to put hard caps on GHG emissions for the electricity sector. A cap on total emissions from regulated facilities was imposed at 19.22 Mt through the province’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Regulations. Nova Scotia’s Energy Strategy and its climate plan have a shared goal of reducing GHG emissions, and expect to drive about 5 Mt of emissions reductions through initiatives such as energy efficiency and conservation, renewables and air quality, and future cleaner energy actions.

Nova Scotia’s Renewable Electricity Plan proposes the use of 25% renewable electricity by 2015 and 40% renewable electricity by 2020 (see Chapter 3).176 By 2020, the province is committed to increasing its energy efficiency by 20% from 2008 levels by giving people and businesses access to information, providing more money for energy efficiency and conservation, supporting more home energy audits, ensuring that more homes undergo efficiency upgrades, offering interest-free loans to increase the efficiency of existing housing, ensuring that new housing and buildings are more energy efficient, and providing incentives for more energy-efficient heating.177

Residential, and Commercial and Institutional emissions together contribute 2.8 Mt CO2e. The Nova Scotia Building Code Act requires all buildings to meet certain energy efficiency standards. By 2020, all government-owned buildings constructed before 2001 are required to reduce energy consumption by 30%, and all new government-owned buildings are required to meet certain standards, including being carbon-neutral after 2020.

Transportation emissions constitute a quarter of Nova Scotia’s total emissions, and efforts to reduce emissions include increasing vehicle efficiency, encouraging sustainable travel, and community land-use planning.

In 2010, the government passed a bill, entitled "An Act to Establish the Nova Scotia Voluntary Carbon Emissions Offset Fund" to support the development of offset projects within the province.178

Provincial evaluation of emissions reduction measures

The Department of Environment produces an annual progress report of GHG emissions in the province as part of their Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act. The effectiveness of measures to date in achieving the provincial 2020 target is to be assessed every five years through a public review by the Nova Scotia Round Table on Environment and Sustainable Prosperity.

The province monitors its emissions caps through an Emissions Reduction Schedule that requires five compliance periods from 2010 to 2020 under the regulations. If the electricity sector fails to meet the emissions cap for any individual compliance period, it is an offense punishable under the Nova Scotia Environment Act. Fines can be imposed by the Court for non-compliance of up to $500,000 daily, and are to be paid into the Nova Scotia Environmental Trust Fund.179

Inter-jurisdictional Measures

In 2010 Nova Scotia and the federal government signed an Agreement in Principle on efforts to address climate change. In March 2012, a commitment to an equivalency agreement was announced by the province and the federal government.180 The equivalency agreement will avoid duplication of effort to control GHGs and ensure that industries do not face dual regulations. The federal regulations will stand down in favour of the provincial regulation, provided that the provincial regulations achieve equivalent outcomes. The federal regulations are to come into effect mid-2012, at which time the equivalency agreement can be finalized.

Nova Scotia is a member of the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers (NEG/ECP), and has adopted the shared goal of emission reductions of 10% below 1990 levels by 2020. It is also a member of the Atlantic Energy Gateway, a mechanism to foster the growth of clean and renewable energy supplies in Atlantic Canada and promoting this energy to new markets.181

[ll] Information included in this appendix is sourced from Government of Nova Scotia 2009 unless otherwise indicated.

[175] Environment Canada 2011b

[176] Nova Scotia Department of Energy 2010

[177] Nova Scotia Department of Energy 2009

[178] Government of Nova Scotia 2010

[179] Nova Scotia Department of Environment 2009

[180] Canada NewsWire 2012

[181] Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency 2009