Supplying 90% of Nova Scotia’s electricity from renewable sources, cutting energy consumption in social housing 60%, tripling energy efficiency in the electricity sector, electrifying personal and public transportation, cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half, and creating 15,000 green jobs are the key 2030 targets in a plan for the renewal of the province’s Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act, released this week by the Halifax-based Ecology Action Centre.
“It’s a larger reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, reducing emissions by 50% from 1990 levels by 2030,” said Energy Campaign Coordinator Stephen Thomas. “The target that we have put forward is the bare minimum for Nova Scotia to meet its fair share of commitments to keep global warming below 1.5°C as it is laid out in the Paris Agreement,” he added.
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“Really we are at a critical time in history,” said EAC Community Energy Coordinator Meghan McMorris. “We have to choose which path we are going to go down. One is a path of sustainable prosperity. The other is business as usual, where the current injustices and struggles that people are facing are only going to become exacerbated by climate change.”
The plan would cost about C$569 million over 10 years and cut 21 megatonnes of carbon pollution per year.
Nova Scotia currently generates 30% of its electricity from renewable energy, and will hit 40% by the end of 2020 if it connects to the controversial Muskrat Falls hydroelectric project in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Chronicle Herald writes. “The EAC goal would be met by increasing wind-generated power substantially to encompass 45% of the total power generated by 2030. Thirty-nine per cent of electricity would come from hydro, 9% from natural gas, and the remainder from solar, small biomass, tidal, and other sources.”
Thomas said the EAC acknowledged the “very real Indigenous land rights issues” associated with Muskrat Falls, adding that “we’ve been careful not to propose any new large hydro as part of our analysis.”
“This would entirely replace the coal plants in Nova Scotia, the eight coal units across the 12 plants, about 1,200 megawatts.” Thomas said. “The point of this analysis was for us to get to that level, to completely phase out coal.”