As one of their last orders of business before the Nova Scotia Legislature adjourned on October 30, 2019 they passed the Sustainable Development Goals Act (Bill 213).
The Sustainable Development Goals Act repeals and replaces the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act, (EGSPA) which became law in 2007. EGSPA included 21 specific goals including protecting 12% of Nova Scotia by 2015 and 40% of our energy from renewable sources by 2020. The Sustainable Development Goals Act includes 4 goals all related to action on climate change.
Bill 213 was introduced and passed in just one week. Despite the fact that the Bill passed second reading at 8:00 pm on Thursday, October 24 and was in front of the Law Amendments Committee (the only opportunity for public comment) at 11:00 am on Monday morning, the Committee received more than 85 written submissions and almost 50 in-person presentations.
Many of the presentations articulated concern that the climate goals, although currently the strongest in Canada, will not be enough to truly address the climate crisis. Others expressed disappointment over the significantly reduced number of goals in the Act.
East Coast Environmental Law shares many of the concerns expressed at Law Amendments. You can find our brief submission to Law Amendments here, and a more detailed submission to the EGSPA Review here.
Now that the SDGA is in place we will work with our colleagues, communities and citizens to encourage government to build on their commitments and develop a strong, forward-looking climate change strategy and develop additional important goals to be included in regulations.
The introduction of this Act is bittersweet, and we will continue to advocate for more from our political leaders. Nova Scotia may have set the highest bar within Canada, but it is clear that we must continue to reach higher.
October 24, 2019
Yesterday, the Government of Nova Scotia introduced a Bill to replace Nova Scotia’s Environmental Goals and Sustainability Prosperity Act.
If it is passed, Bill 213—the proposed “Sustainable Development Goals Act”—will create the strongest legislated GHG emissions reduction targets in Canada.
The Bill calls for a reduction of 53% below Nova Scotia’s 2005 levels by 2030, and it sets a target of net zero emissions by 2030. It also calls for the development of a strategic plan that will chart an effective course for the work ahead.
East Coast Environmental Law works to support the development of strong and innovative environmental laws throughout Atlantic Canada. We submitted comments during the recent review of the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act, and we look forward to reading Bill 213 very closely in the coming days.
This October, East Coast Environmental Law staff lawyers delivered a free and open-to-the-public workshop on the new federal Impact Assessment Act, the provincial Environmental Assessment Regulations and the Regional Assessment process.
You can find the presentations from the workshop below.
Presentation 1: Introduction to Environmental Impact Assessment
Presentation 3: Federal Impact Assessment Act
East Coast Environmental Law presents:
Environmental Impact Assessment in Newfoundland and Labrador: A Public Legal Education Session
DATE: Saturday, October 5, 2019
TIME: 2:00PM - 5:00PM (Doors open at 1:45)
LOCATION: The Lantern, 35 Barnes Road St. John's, NL A1C 3X1
* Wheelchair accessible *
Join us for a free public legal education session on environmental impact assessment in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Staff lawyers from East Coast Environmental Law will present information and facilitate discussion on the new federal Impact Assessment Act, the provincial Environmental Assessment Regulations and the Regional Assessment process.
During this session, we will explore questions including:
• What are the different stages of an environmental assessment?
• What is the difference between a federal and provincial assessment?
• How are environmental assessment decisions made?
• How can members of the public participate in an environmental assessment?
• How will federal assessment change under the new law?
East Coast Environmental Law is an environmental law charity based in Nova Scotia and working on issues of concern to Atlantic Canadians. Our work is centered around ensuring environmental laws in Atlantic Canada are founded on responsible, transparent and inclusive decision-making. We encourage the development and fair application of innovative and effective environmental laws through: Public Education; Collaboration; and Legal Action.
Light refreshments will be served during the public legal education workshop.
This workshop session is sponsored in part by the Manolis L Citizen Response Committee.
Please RSVP to [email protected]
October 4, 2019
When the Nova Scotia government opened up a public commentary period for Nova Scotia's Environmental Goals and Sustainability Act ("EGSPA"), East Coast Environmental Law went to work, carefully crafted a list of recomendations for a strong renewal of the Act.
East Coast Environmental Law welcomes the renewal of EGSPA. We believe that the initial creation of the Act in 2007 was a significant achievement that demonstrated the power of non-partisan collaboration by all of the political parties that were represented in the House of Assembly at that time. This type of cooperation between political parties is necessary once again in order to address some of Nova Scotia’s most pressing needs and—just as importantly—to imagine a future in which Nova Scotia would be an environmental leader within Canada and beyond.
Today, Nova Scotians need this forward-thinking law more than ever. The world is facing an unprecedented crisis that includes mass species extinction and the threat of climate chaos. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has warned us repeatedly that we must begin to transform our high-greenhouse-gas-emitting, fossil-fuel-burning societies within the next eleven years or severe climate consequences will be inevitable. Nova Scotians need an Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act that sets us on course for effective climate change mitigation and adaptation and that helps us to protect this beautiful province we call home.
Read our recommendations on the renewal of EGSPA here.