The Strait Area has a diverse economy. Agriculture, fishing, forestry, mining and tourism have been part of the economy for hundreds of years. Having a large part of the economy linked to these sectors, the Strait Area Chamber of Commerce acknowledges that Nova Scotia is and needs to continue to be a competitive, reliable, environmentally progressive energy producing and consuming province.
To achieve this goal all levels of government must ensure sources of energy are accessible, affordable, practical, and sustainable. Without balancing these conditions, energy security in Nova Scotia will be at risk and businesses in Nova Scotia will struggle to remain competitive.
Climate change is of major concern to all Canadians. Canada has committed to reduce its carbon footprint and has set GHG reduction goals for our country. As of January 2017, with regards to electricity production, Nova Scotia has achieved better results on carbon reduction than any other province. In fact Nova Scotia has already surpassed the Government of Canada’s target of reducing GHGs by 30% below 2005 levels.
Nova Scotia businesses need to maintain their competiveness in this new energy landscape. During this evolution we must recognize that sectors of the economy and some regions of the province will be more carbon-dependent because of the lack of low carbon infrastructure or the inability to quickly implement innovation. Without this realization, these regions of our province and the economy (including agriculture, fishing, aquaculture, tourism, etc) will be negatively impacted.
To become a progressive energy producer, Canada must address three key components:
ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE ENERGY PRODUCTION/CONSUMPTION
- Increase investment in competitive low carbon energy infrastructure.
- Move towards a long term low carbon economy by:
- Utilizing low carbon energy resources.
- Investing in R&D to reduce the carbon footprint.
- Using technology to reduce the carbon footprint.
- Have substantive, thorough and timely environmental review processes.
ENERGY SECURITY & AVAILABILITY
- Invest in electrical transmission infrastructure to allow low carbon energy to flow between provinces.
- Support pipeline infrastructure to allow the movement of Canadian resources between provinces and for local and export opportunities.
- Support safe energy storage to complement renewable resources.
- Utilize existing energy infrastructure for its full life cycle term to avoid stranded assets and to control energy costs.
- Support industrial energy efficiency and energy solutions that complement the GHG emission strategy.
- Achieve predictable and reliable energy supply/rates for business sectors that are reflective of the sector’s impact on the economy.
Nova Scotia needs to focus on developing competitive, sustainably produced and transportable energy, particularly in partnership with the other Atlantic provinces, so businesses of all sizes can remain competitive and maximize job opportunities.
It is recognized that the execution of this policy will require strong leadership, communication, consensus building and teamwork of all stakeholders.