Nova Scotia

Acting on a Vision of Sustainability

Province House, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia has a vision to be one of the cleanest environments and most sustainable economies in the world by 2020.  To get there, the province enshrined 21 specific targets in legislation: the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act. The Act covers:

  • ecosystem protection
  • air emissions
  • renewable energy
  • water quality
  • contaminated sites
  • solid waste
  • sustainable purchasing
  • energy efficient buildings

The province committed to develop new strategies and policies to advance
its 2020 Vision in co-operation with other levels of government,
private industry, and the public.

Towards a Greener Future

NS Climate Change Action Plan In 2009, Nova Scotia released its Climate Change Action Plan, which set targets of 5 megatonnes annually by 2020 and a reduction of GHG emmissions by at least 10 per cent from 1990 levels by 2020.  Details are on the Climate Change website.  Short term actions, to be done by 2013, include::

  • caps on Nova Scotia Power Inc.’s GHG emissions by 2010
  • the 2013 Renewable Energy Standard, which will require NSPI to add new renewable energy sources by the end of that same year
  • requiring NSPI to allow greater use of two-way meters (net metering), which encourage small producers of clean energy
  • starting to upgrade the Nova Scotia electrical transmission system to permit greater use of renewable energy
  • improvements to the energy efficiency of new and existing homes and buildings
  • conversions to natural gas
  • new transportation policies

Medium-term actions, to be implemented after 2013, include the following:

  • 2015 and 2020 GHG caps for NSPI
  •  upgrading Nova Scotia’s electrical transmission grid to permit stronger connections with neighbouring provinces
  • ensuring that at least 25 per cent of our electricity is generated from renewable energy sources by 2020
  • possible importation of clean power from other provinces
  • new technologies, such as ways to capture carbon produced by coal-fired plants before it is released to the air in GHGs
  • reducing GHGs from other energy sources

Also on the government’s climate change website, you will find a list of government actions and related strategies for energy efficiency and renewable power, voluntary carbon trading, water resource management, and local economic development.


The Minister of Environment and Labour reports annually to the House of Assembly on progress made toward the province’s sustainability and climate change goals.  The 2011 report is gives a complete rundown of the progress in implementing commitments made in both strategies.

A companion document is the Indicators of Prosperity – 2011, which provides an analysis of individual prosperity and the overall economic performance of the province.