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Climate goals a challenge

Life preservers adorned the gates of Province House yesterday morningas a signal from the Ecology Action Centre that the government is notdoing enough to combat climate change.


Life preservers adorned the gates of Province House yesterday morning as a signal from the Ecology Action Centre that the government is not doing enough to combat climate change.


Members said the province is “floundering” and needs to be bailed out of the crisis.


Inside the house, Environment Minister Mark Parent and Economic Development Minister Angus MacIsaac shared the province’s one-year report card on the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act.


“Today, I am proud to report to all Nova Scotians that we are making progress in meeting our aggressive targets,” Parent said.


The act outlines 21 goals including reducing air emissions and waste, new energy standards for buildings and protection for land and water.


Mark Butler, policy director of the Ecology Action Centre, said although the province has made some environmental strides in the past year, it’s not enough.


“On some big issues, like climate change, there has been little to no progress,” he said.


Parent said significant progress has been made toward safer drinking water; the percentage of protected land in the province has increased from 8.2 per cent to 8.7 per cent; and the province has made great strides in renewable energy, with $5 million spent on wind energy and a tidal energy demonstration project in the works.


But the province’s climate change goal is going to be a challenge, he admitted.


“That will be perhaps the most challenging goal in the 21 goals,” he said.


The government has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the province by 10 per cent below 1990 levels by the year 2020.


New Democrat MLA Howard Epstein says it’s unlikely the province will meet that goal.


“I think it’s convenient for the government to set a date that’s far into the future, and there’s very little indication that they’re aggressive about it,” he said.


–robyn.young@metronews.ca


 
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