For Immediate Release: July 27, 2021
Kjipuktuk, Nova Scotia – Sierra Club Atlantic’s new Beyond Climate Promises report is calling for urgent action and accountability on climate change, forestry, and a just transition. Sierra Club Atlantic submitted the report to the Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Climate Change last night as part of the public consultation on the Sustainable Development Goals Act and New Climate Change Plan for Clean Growth, which closed July 26.
Our report, Beyond Climate Promises, doesn’t pull any punches.
“The Sustainable Development Goals Act, passed by the Nova Scotia government in 2019, states that climate change requires urgent action. We’re still waiting to see it. A real commitment to climate action requires that we rapidly switch from burning coal and biomass and embrace the potential for energy efficiency, renewables, and storage today,” says Tynette Deveaux.
Key time-bound recommendations in the report include:
- Ensuring that 75 percent of electricity is generated from renewable, non-GHG-emitting sources by 2025 and 100 percent by 2030
- Shutting down forest biomass plants by 2022
- Halting clearcutting on public land by 2022
- Accelerating and assist in the creation of locally-run Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) electricity providers that are committed to clean, renewable energy, so that CCAs can become established in the province by 2023
- Requiring at least 30 percent of new light-duty vehicles sold or registered in the province to be zero-emission vehicles by 2025, and 100 percent by 2030
- Ensuring that all social housing in the province has received deep energy retrofits by 2030
- Addressing the proliferation of building demolitions by accounting for embodied carbon in decision-making for new building permits
- Halting subsidies to the fossil fuel sector and stop any further expansion of offshore oil and gas
- Entering into a genuine nation-to-nation dialogue with Mi’kmaw leaders (both traditional and band leaders) about how to best recognize and fulfill Mi’kmaw treaty rights.
- Requiring all activities on public land to comply with the principles set out in the Sustainable Development Goals Act: Netukulimk, sustainable prosperity, circular economy, and inclusive economy
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us what’s possible when governments treat a crisis with the urgency it deserves. As wildfires rage in other parts of Canada, impacting the air quality here in the Atlantic provinces, we want our leaders to feel the heat, too. Nova Scotia needs to get moving on meaningful steps to address this crisis,” says Deveaux. “Nova Scotians have put up with decades of broken promises and excuses for the delays in phasing out coal and other fossil fuels, implementing sustainable forestry practices, and formally protecting wilderness areas and provincial parks. Real environmental leadership means stepping up and taking decisive climate action. Our lives and our children’s futures are on the line. Sierra Club Atlantic stands with those who are demanding action now.”