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Green Economy Act

BILL NO. 136

(as introduced)

4th Session, 61st General Assembly
Nova Scotia
61 Elizabeth II, 2012



Government Bill



Green Economy Act



The Honourable Sterling Belliveau
Minister of Environment



First Reading: November 19, 2012

(Explanatory Notes)

Second Reading: November 20, 2012

Third Reading: December 3, 2012 (WITH COMMITTEE AMENDMENTS) (LINK TO BILL AS PASSED)

Explanatory Notes

Clause 1 provides a short title to this Act.

Clause 2 revises the definition Section of the Act to reorganize the definition of "legally protected", to update the Minister's title and to add definitions of "Round Table", "sustainability" and "sustainable prosperity".

Clause 3 revises the principles on which the Act is based to reference the need for departmental collaboration, to reference the Mi'kmaq concept of Netukulimk and to include the goal of climate-change adaptation.

Clause 4 revises the long-term objectives and goals in the Act to relate to sustainable prosperity and key outcome areas and to make them more measurable and achievable.

Clause 5 revises the review and reporting provisions of the Act to provide for greater government-wide involvement, to reflect the new definition of the Round Table and to allow the Round Table nine months to do its five-year report reviewing the Act.

Clause 6 adds programs and measures to encourage sustainable practices in product stewardship to the government programs and measures authorized by the Act.

Clause 7 revises the goals that may be purposes for agreements authorized by the Act to refer to sustainable prosperity.

Clause 8 revises the wording in clause 9(1)(a) of the Act respecting economic well-being to match wording used elsewhere in the Act.

An Act to Amend Chapter 7
of the Acts of 2007,
the Environmental Goals
and Sustainable Prosperity Act

Be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows: 1 This Act may be cited as the Green Economy Act. 2 Section 2 of Chapter 7 is amended by

(a) striking out clause (c) and substituting the following clause:

(c) "legally protected" means dedicated, in a legally recognized manner, primarily to the protection of biodiversity and natural processes, and includes

(i) designated, established or protected under an enactment, including the Wilderness Areas Protection Act, the Special Places Protection Act, the Provincial Parks Act, the Canada Wildlife Act and the Canada National Parks Act,

(ii) subject to a conservation easement under the Conservation Easements Act, and

(iii) held by a non-governmental charitable land trust;

(b) striking out "and Labour" immediately after "Environment" in the first line of clause (d);

(c) striking out the period at the end of clause (e) and substituting a semi-colon; and

(d) adding immediately after clause (e) the following clauses:

(f) "Round Table" means the Round Table established pursuant to the Environment Act;

(g) "sustainability" means meeting current human needs without undermining the capacity of the environment to provide for those needs over the long term;

(h) "sustainable prosperity" means seizing today's opportunities without compromising tomorrow, while working together for a strong, competitive economy, a healthy environment and vibrant, thriving communities.

3 Subsection 3(2) of Chapter 7 is amended by

(a) adding immediately after clause (c) the following clause:

(ca) to achieve objectives that span both environmental and economic aims, government departments need to collaborate across the Province using a whole systems approach;

(b) adding ", which is in keeping with the Mi'kmaq concept of Netukulimk, defined by the Mi'kmaq as the use of the natural bounty provided by the Creator for the self-support and well-being of the individual and the community by achieving adequate standards of community nutrition and economic well-being without jeopardizing the integrity, diversity or productivity of our environment" immediately after "generations" in the second line of clause (d); and

(c) adding ", climate change adaptation" immediately after "programs" in the second line of clause (g).

4 (1) Subsections 4(1) and (2) of Chapter 7 are repealed and the following subsections substituted:

(1) The long-term environmental and economic objective of the Province is to achieve sustainable prosperity and to this end to

(a) establish clear goals that foster an integrated approach to environmental sustainability and economic well-being; and

(b) work towards continuous improvement in measures of social, environmental and economic indicators of prosperity.

(2) To achieve the long-term objectives set forth in subsection (1), the Province's environmental and economic goals in the areas of cleaner energy, climate change adaptation, healthy air and water, leadership in sustainable practices, protection of biodiversity and sustainable management of natural assets are to ensure that

(a) the Province adopts and implements a framework to support a transition to cleaner sources and sustainable uses of energy to produce greater economic, social and environmental benefits for Nova Scotians by supporting and enabling

(i) energy efficiency and conservation to assist in energy affordability and competitiveness through increased productivity,

(ii) sustainable transportation options,

(iii) increased renewable energy,

(iv) enhanced use of natural gas to displace oil and coal, and

(v) enhanced innovation through globally competitive energy research and development;

(b) of the total electricity needs of the Province,

(i) 18.5 per cent is obtained from renewable energy sources by 2013,

(ii) 25 per cent is obtained from renewable energy sources by 2015, and

(iii) 40 per cent is obtained from renewable energy sources by 2020;

(c) an updated energy efficiency rating system for new and existing homes is available in the Nova Scotia Building Code Regulations made under the Building Code Act;

(d) all new residential dwelling units constructed in the Province after January 1, 2011 are required to meet energy conservation measures adopted in the Nova Scotia Building Code Regulations made under the Building Code Act;

(e) the Province continues to work with other levels of government on national emissions standards for greenhouse gases and air pollutants from new motor vehicles, such as the standards adopted by the State of California;

(f) greenhouse gas emissions are, by 2020, at least 10 per cent below the levels that were emitted in 1990, as outlined in the New England Governors/Eastern Canadian Premiers Climate Change Action Plan 2001;

(g) emissions of nitrogen oxides are reduced by

(i) 20 per cent by 2009,

(ii) 28 per cent by 2015, and

(iii) 44 per cent by 2020,

relative to emissions in 2000;

(h) sulphur dioxide emissions are reduced by

(i) 50 per cent by 2010,

(ii) 58 per cent by 2015, and

(iii) 75 per cent by 2020,

relative to the 1995-2005 emission allocation;

(i) mercury emissions are reduced to no more than

(i) 110 kilograms by 2010,

(ii) 100 kilograms by 2011,

(iii) 85 kilograms by 2013,

(iv) 65 kilograms by 2014, and

(v) 35 kilograms by 2020;

(j) the Province meets and maintains the Canada-wide Standards for Particulate Matter (PM) and Ozone established by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment for airborne fine-particulate matter by 2010;

(k) the Province meets and maintains the Canada-wide Standards for Particulate Matter (PM) and Ozone established by the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment for ground-level ozone by 2010;

(l) municipal public drinking-water supplies meet the Province's 2012 treatment standards by 2020;

(m) a comprehensive water-resource management strategy is developed by 2010 and implemented accordingly;

(n) wastewater treatment facility discharges undergo at least primary treatment by 2020;

(o) the solid-waste disposal rate is no greater than 300 kilograms per person per year by 2015 through measures that include the development of new programs and product stewardship regulations;

(p) septage treatment facilities are operated in accordance with the Guidelines for the Handling, Treatment and Disposal of Septage as of 2011;

(q) a sustainable procurement policy for the Province is developed and adopted by 2009 and implemented accordingly, including by integrating sustainable procurement criteria into Provincial government purchasing and promoting adoption of this approach to the greater public sector in the Province;

(r) a government facility is constructed as a demonstration facility in accordance with leading energy efficient design standards by 2015 and used to foster sustainable building practices;

(s) the Province develops a strategy by 2014 to advance the growth of the green economy, and implements the strategy accordingly;

(t) at least 12 per cent of the total land mass of the Province is legally protected by 2015;

(u) regulatory tools that use the framework within the Environment Act to stimulate redevelopment of contaminated land and contribute to economic development while protecting the environment are brought into effect by 2013 and implemented accordingly;

(v) a policy of preventing net loss of wetlands is established by 2009 and implemented accordingly; and

(w) the Province adopts a natural resources strategy by 2010, focusing on the areas of biodiversity, forestry, geological resources and parks, and implements the strategy accordingly.

(3) Clause 4(3)(b) of Chapter 7 is amended by

(a) striking out "environmental" in the first line; and

(b) striking out "environmental goals" in the third line and substituting "goals for sustainable prosperity".

(4) Clause 4(3)(c) of Chapter 7 is amended by striking out "environmental" in the first line.

5 (1) Subsection 6(1) of Chapter 7 is repealed and the following subsection substituted:

(1) The Minister, in consultation with the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, the Minister of Agriculture, the Minister of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism, the Minister of Energy, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, the Minister of Labour and Advanced Education, the Minister of Natural Resources, the Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations and the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, as appropriate in relation to their respective mandates, shall review the goals set out in this Act and the regulations and activities of all Provincial government departments that relate to sustainability and shall report annually to the House of Assembly on the progress made toward achieving those goals, on the adequacy of the goals and on anything that the Minister, or any of the ministers who are consulted, considers should be brought to the attention of the House in relation to the long-term objective of sustainable prosperity.

(2) Subsection 6(2) of Chapter 7 is amended by

(a) striking out "Nova Scotia" in the first line;

(b) striking out "on Environmental Sustainability" in the first and second and in the fourth lines; and

(c) striking out "six" in the fourth line and substituting "nine".

(3) Subsection 6(4) of Chapter 7 is amended by

(a) striking out "Nova Scotia" in the second line; and

(b) striking out "on Environmental Sustainability" in the second and third lines.

6 Subsection 7(1) of Chapter 7 is amended by adding immediately after clause (e) the following clause:

(ea) programs and measures to encourage movement towards more sustainable practices in the sphere of product stewardship;
7 (1) Subsection 8(1) of Chapter 7 is amended by striking out "environmental goals" in the fifth and sixth lines and substituting "goals for sustainable prosperity".

(2) Subsection 8(2) of Chapter 7 is amended by striking out "environmental goals" in the third line and substituting "goals for sustainable prosperity".

8 Clause 9(1)(a) of Chapter 7 is amended by striking out "performance" in the first line and substituting "well-being".


This page and its contents published by the Office of the Legislative Counsel, Nova Scotia House of Assembly, and © 2012 Crown in right of Nova Scotia. Created December 18, 2012. Send comments to legc.office@novascotia.ca.