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BILL NO. 161

(as introduced)

2nd Session, 63rd General Assembly
Nova Scotia
68 Elizabeth II, 2019


Private Member's Bill


Declaration of Climate Emergency Act


Gary Burrill
Halifax Chebucto

First Reading: September 27, 2019

Second Reading:

Third Reading:


An Act Respecting
a Declaration of Climate Emergency

WHEREAS the reality of global climate change has become apparent in Nova Scotia;

AND WHEREAS this has manifested itself in events such as pronounced droughts, especially in the southwest area of Nova Scotia in the summers of 2016 and 2018, which has led to an especially high level of concern since some 40 per cent of the Nova Scotia population relies on wells as their source of water with a significant proportion of those wells set on shallow aquifers;

AND WHEREAS Nova Scotia has also experienced serious increases in seasonal temperatures and is vulnerable to sea-level rise, storms, hurricanes and coastal erosion;

AND WHEREAS activities such as the generation of electricity represent some 40 per cent of Nova Scotia's greenhouse gas emissions with some 75 per cent of that based on the burning of fossil fuels;

AND WHEREAS the Government of Canada and international scientific reports such as the 2018 Special Report of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, have identified the need to hold the increase in global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius;

AND WHEREAS the effects of climate change are expected to reach society's most vulnerable members first and worst;

AND WHEREAS the consequences of unrestrained climate change are of an order of magnitude as to threaten the continuation of human life on Earth on the basis that has previously allowed us to thrive;

AND WHEREAS global climate change, as associated with atmospheric carbon dioxide, has been identified by the scientific community as the most pressing of contemporary problems over which humankind may have some significant measure of control;

AND WHEREAS the time available in which to address the causes of global climate change is extremely limited;

THEREFORE be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:

1 This Act may be cited as the Declaration of Climate Emergency Act.

2 It is hereby declared that the House of Assembly recognises a state of climate emergency and dedicates itself to take urgent action to address the causes of global climate change.

3 The House of Assembly endorses a target of lowering the greenhouse gas emissions of the Province, to be accomplished no later than the year 2030, to at least 50 per cent below 1990 levels, and further endorses the manifestation of this target through appropriate legislation, including amendment of the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act to include strong targets respecting renewable energy, energy efficiency, retrofitting and green jobs creation.


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