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Nova Scotia's emissions cap lauded in Copenhagen

Provinces can’t use a breakdown in climate change talks in Copenhagenas an excuse to do nothing, Premier Darrell Dexter said Thursday.

Provinces can’t use a breakdown in climate change talks in Copenhagen as an excuse to do nothing, Premier Darrell Dexter said Thursday.


As Stephen Harper’s government continues to argue against Kyoto-level greenhouse gas targets, Dexter said he and the Nova Scotia delegation have been working with sub-nationals on setting tougher goals.


“The fact that some jurisdictions have not been able to perhaps reach the position that we wish they would does not excuse everyone else from acting,” Dexter said via conference call from Copenhagen.


Dexter said he hopes the provinces will be on the same page as the federal government, but if Harper goes a different route it “does not excuse the individual jurisdictions from taking action.”


Nova Scotia was awarded at Copenhagen for its Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act, which the province reports is the first law in North America to put hard caps on emissions.


The act mandates a 25 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2020, but Dexter hinted Thursday Nova Scotia may have to go even farther than that.


“Even having set an aggressive 25 per cent renewable standard, at some point you will have to look at that and say have we done what is necessary to move Nova Scotia forward into a green economy. And I think, ultimately, the answer will be that you have to expand those (goals),” he said.


This week, the premier signed a non-binding declaration to pursue action and policies to reduce climate change. He said despite the TV images of violent protests, a lot of work is being done by the thousands of delegates trying to find climate change solutions.


Several local business representatives also went to Copenhagen seeking investment for green projects. Dexter said he didn’t know if any of them had secured money, adding that likely wouldn’t happen until after the summit.

 
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