EfficiencyOne White Paper outlines pathways to a net-zero future
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 23, 2021 – Halifax/Kjipuktuk,NS—Nova Scotia needs to invest in energy efficiency, electrification, and decarbonization if it wants to achieve a net-zero future says a new EfficiencyOne report.
EfficiencyOne’s White Paper 2050: Net-Zero Carbon Nova Scotia, released September 23, 2021 and written in collaboration with Ralph Torrie of Torrie Smith Associates, outlines the challenges and opportunities facing the province as it continues to focus on emissions reductions.
“Urgent action is needed to mitigate the effects of climate change,” says Stephen MacDonald, President and Chief Executive Officer, EfficiencyOne. “GHG emissions in Nova Scotia are down 30% since 2005, but a challenging path lies ahead if we are to achieve net-zero.”
The White Paper outlines five strategic pathways to help overcome the challenges, and seize on the opportunities, in responding to the climate emergency: energy efficiency and decarbonization; partnerships, collaboration, and training; innovative financing and private investment; equity; and regional capacity building.
According to the White Paper, electricity, transportation, and buildings together generate the highest amount of emissions in Nova Scotia and present the biggest opportunities. “For Nova Scotia to stay on track with the global target of limiting the average rise of temperatures to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, GHG emissions of all types must come down by another 30% by 2030.” says Torrie. “Then emissions must be further reduced to achieve net-zero emissions; there is no practical pathway to net-zero for Nova Scotia that does not include eliminating or substantially reducing fossil fuel combustion.”
Over the past decade the province has implemented hard caps on carbon dioxide emissions in the power sector, invested in energy-efficiency programs, and made progress in reaching targets to generate 80% of electricity from renewables. In addition, there has been significant provincial and federal funding to decrease the use of carbon-based fuels and reduce energy costs for homes, businesses, institutions, and non-profit organizations.
The newly elected government of Premier Tim Houston has committed to introducing in their first legislative sitting new legislation called the Enviro-Goals and Climate Change Reduction Act. The EfficiencyOne White Paper can help identify the goals that should be legislated to chart a clear path forward to a net-zero future for the province.
“Energy efficiency, electrification, and decarbonization, taken together, are strategic actions that can address 65% of Nova Scotia’s GHG emissions” adds MacDonald.
“There is no single action that will get us to net-zero,” says William Lahey, Founding Chair of the EfficiencyOne Board of Directors and President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of King’s College. “Now is the time for everyone – government, institutions, industry, organizations, not for profits, and individual citizens – to get to work advancing innovative approaches to decrease GHG emissions and to develop a collaborative model that builds on existing successes.”
The White Paper also recommends designing and delivering tailored programs that help ensure everyone can equitably benefit from a green, sustainable recovery.
“To be viable, the path to net-zero needs to work for everybody — and that means including everybody,” says MacDonald. “Any actions taken must – especially with energy-efficiency and electrification programs – include services for low-income homeowners and renters, Mi’kmaw communities, small business, and commercial and industrial business.”
To read the White Paper 2050: Net-Zero Carbon Nova Scotia, click here.
EfficiencyOne, operating in Nova Scotia as Efficiency Nova Scotia, has a proven track record of success in designing and delivering resource efficiency programs and services for homes, businesses, and large industrial customers. Learn more at www.efficiencyone.ca.