BILL NO. 213
2nd Session, 63rd General Assembly
68 Elizabeth II, 2019
Sustainable Development Goals Act
The Honourable Gordon Wilson
Minister of Environment
First Reading: October 23, 2019
Second Reading: October 24, 2019
Third Reading: October 30, 2019 (LINK TO BILL AS PASSED)
Be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:
1 This Act may be cited as the Sustainable Development Goals Act.
2 In this Act,
(a) "circular economy" means an economy in which resources and products are kept in use for as long as possible, with the maximum value being extracted while they are in use and from which, at the end of their service life, other materials and products of value are recovered or regenerated;
(b) "Fund" means the Sustainable Communities Challenge Fund established under Section 9;
(c) "inclusive economy" means an economy that creates opportunity for all segments of the population and that distributes the dividends of increased prosperity, both in monetary and non-monetary terms, for the well-being of all Nova Scotians;
(d) "Minister" means the Minister of Environment;
(e) "Netukulimk" means, as defined by the Mi'kmaq, 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 the environment;
(f) "Round Table" means the Round Table established pursuant to the Environment Act;
(g) "sustainable development" has the same meaning as in the Environment Act;
(h) "sustainable prosperity" means prosperity where economic growth, environmental stewardship and social responsibility are integrated and recognized as being interconnected.
3 The Minister is responsible for the general supervision and management of this Act and the regulations.
4 This Act is based on the following principles:
(a) the achievement of sustainable prosperity in the Province must include all of the following elements:
(ii) sustainable development,
(iii) a circular economy, and
(iv) an inclusive economy;
(b) the achievement of sustainable prosperity is a shared responsibility among all levels of government, the private sector and all Nova Scotians;
(c) climate change is recognized as a global emergency requiring urgent action; and
(d) such other principles as may be prescribed by the regulations.
5 (1) The long-term objective of the Province is to achieve sustainable prosperity.
(2) To achieve the long-term objective of sustainable prosperity, the Government shall
(a) raise awareness of the importance of sustainable prosperity and the elements that contribute to it;
(b) create the conditions necessary for sustainable prosperity, including regulation, programs and initiatives to encourage actions and innovation by local government, business, non-government organizations and Nova Scotians for the purpose of making progress in sustainable prosperity; and
(c) adopt, support and enable goals and initiatives that are aligned with the principles and focus areas in this Act and regulations.
6 Goals and initiatives established under this Act and the regulations must align with the following focus areas:
(a) the demonstration of leadership in sustainable prosperity;
(b) the support of the transition to cleaner energy, more sustainable sources for electricity generation, improved energy efficiency and cleaner transportation;
(c) climate change mitigation and adaptation;
(d) the creation of conditions supporting a circular economy;
(e) the creation of conditions supporting an inclusive economy;
(f) conservation and sustainable use of natural assets and support for biodiversity; and
(g) such other focus areas as may be prescribed by the regulations.
7 The Government's goals in relation to greenhouse gas emissions reductions are that greenhouse gas emissions in the Province are
(a) by 2020, at least 10% below the levels that were emitted in 1990;
(b) by 2030, at least 53% below the levels that were emitted in 2005; and
(c) by 2050, at net zero, by balancing greenhouse gas emissions with greenhouse gas removals and other offsetting measures.
8 The Government's goals in the focus area of climate change mitigation and adaptation must include the creation of a strategic plan, prior to December 31, 2020, to be known as the "Climate Change Plan for Clean Growth" which must address
(a) achieving the greenhouse gas emission targets set out in Section 7;
(b) adapting to the impacts of climate change and building a climate resilient Province;
(c) accelerating the integration of sustainable and innovative technologies and approaches; and
(d) clean inclusive growth.
9 (1) The Sustainable Communities Challenge Fund is established.
(2) The money in the Fund must be managed and used in accordance with the regulations, if any, to create competitive opportunities to encourage communities in their climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts.
10 The Premier shall meet with the Round Table annually to discuss progress on sustainable prosperity and may include any member of the Executive Council the Premier deems appropriate at the meeting.
11 The Premier shall ensure that sustainable prosperity is included in the mandate of every Government department.
12 (1) The Minister, in consultation with the members of the Executive Council as appropriate in relation to their respective mandates, shall report annually to the House of Assembly on the progress made toward the long-term objective of sustainable prosperity, including progress toward achievement of sustainable prosperity goals and initiatives and any changes made thereto, as established under this Act and the regulations.
(2) The Minister shall table the annual report referred to in subsection (1) in the House of Assembly on or before July 31 or, where the House is not then sitting, file it with the Clerk of the House.
(3) In preparing an annual report referred to in subsection (1), the Minister may seek advice from the Round Table.
13 The Minister shall request the Round Table to carry out a public review of this Act and the regulations
(a) no later than five years after this Act comes into force; and
(b) at any other time, as needed.
14 (1) The Governor in Council shall, after public consultation and before this Act comes into force, make regulations establishing goals to achieve sustainable prosperity consistent with the principles and focus areas set out in this Act.
(2) The Governor in Council may make regulations
(a) establishing additional goals to achieve sustainable prosperity consistent with the principles and focus areas established pursuant to this Act and the regulations;
(b) establishing further principles and focus areas to achieve sustainable prosperity;
(c) respecting initiatives to achieve sustainable prosperity consistent with the principles and focus areas established pursuant to this Act and the regulations;
(d) respecting the management and use of money in the Fund;
(e) respecting the acquisition of money for the Fund;
(f) governing reporting and record-keeping requirements for any purpose related to this Act;
(g) defining any word or expression used but not defined in this Act;
(h) further defining any word or expression defined in this Act;
(i) respecting any matter that the Governor in Council considers necessary or advisable to carry out effectively the intent and purpose of this Act.
(3) The exercise by the Governor in Council of the authority contained in subsections (1) and (2) is a regulation within the meaning of the Regulations Act.
15 Chapter 7 of the Acts of 2007, the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act, is repealed.
16 This Act comes into force on such day as the Governor in Council orders and declares by proclamation.
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