Last week, Nova Scotia’s Progressive Conservative government introduced Bill 57, the Environmental Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act into the house. Faculty members of Dalhousie’s SRES, including lab head Dr. Alana Westwood, weighed in on the bill with an open letter.
Although commending and overall supportive of the Bill’s direction and intent, SRES faculty called for an acceleration of targets to meet climate-related goals as well as more transparency in the methods used to meet them. In particular, SRES faculty emphasized the need for clear policy and regulatory incentives to ensure that Nova Scotia Power Inc. is required to meet renewable energy targets given that the 2020 target was not met. The letter urges that in addition to the stated goal of 30% protection of Nova Scotia’s land areas, ecological corridors between protected areas should be prioritized to ensure connectivity and resilience to climate change. The letter also calls for recommendations associated with the Lahey Report on ecological forestry, such as the revised silvicultural guidelines, be enacted immediately. In addition, SRES faculty also encourages stronger provisions related to water protection, modernized environmental assessment legislation, aquaculture, and the circular economy. Although the government passed the bill with almost no new amendments, read the full list of recommendations here.