What is ecoNova Scotia?
ecoNova Scotia for Clean Air and Climate Change supported projects and programs that reduce air emissions. In March 2007 the Government of Canada distributed the Clean Air and Climate Change Trust Fund, about $1.5 billion, to the provinces and territories based on population. Nova Scotia’s share of the trust fund was just under $42.5 million. The Nova Scotia government formed ecoNova Scotia to administer these funds. ecoNova Scotia officially ended on March 31, 2011.
The ecoNova Scotia for Clean Air and Climate Change Final Report is available for review:
The principles of ecoNova Scotia
The province incorporated broad principles for using the trust fund. These included encouraging projects and programs that:
- develop innovative environmental technologies
- adopt and commercialize environmental technologies
- create economic and social benefits in Nova Scotia
- encourage investment by public and private sector organizations
- build capacity within the province to initiate further emissions reductions
Provincial air emissions goals and ecoNova Scotia
Nova Scotia’s Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act (EGSPA) sets goals to significantly reduce air emissions by 2020. To learn more about the EGSPA and review its annual progress report, visit www.gov.ns.ca/nse/egspa.
The goals of ecoNova Scotia reflected the air emissions objectives outlined in the EGSPA. These objectives include:
- reducing greenhouse gas emissions to at least 10 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020
- reducing emissions of nitrogen oxides by 20 per cent by 2009, relative to emissions in 2000
- reducing sulphur dioxide emissions from sources existing in 2001 by 50 per cent by 2010,
- meeting the Canada-Wide Standards for airborne fine-particulate matter by 2010
- meeting the Canada-Wide Standards for ground-level ozone by 2010
The Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP), released in January 2009, sets out actions to achieve the objectives of EGPSA. One of the CCAP’s main goals is to reduce Nova Scotia’s contribution to climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and to improve air quality by reducing air pollutant emissions. You can learn more about the CCAP at www.climatechange.gov.ns.ca.
The programs and projects supported by ecoNova Scotia play an important role in implementing actions outlined in the CCAP. Many of the ecoNova Scotia projects support the development, adoption and implementation of renewable energy and energy efficiency, which are key components of CCAP.
How was the money spent?
ecoNova Scotia was managed jointly by Nova Scotia Environment and the Department of Energy. It was guided by a steering committee that had members from several provincial departments and agencies.
In 2007, the steering committee developed a business plan for the use of trust fund monies. It included support for projects considered priorities for the province, such as tidal energy and converting the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre facilities to natural gas. It also developed the framework for two application-based programs - the Municipal Program and the Environmental Technology Program - to encourage the development and adoption of innovative technologies to reduce air emissions.
Members of the steering committee rigorously reviewed projects that applied for funding under the Municipal Program and the Environmental Technology Program. This ensured that ecoNova Scotia funds were used to support its objectives most effectively—making Nova Scotia a sustainable place to live. Recognizing that environmental, social, and economic aspects are intricately linked, the committee’s review considered the benefits to all these areas. They evaluated each project using a standardized scoring process that took into account the objectives of ecoNova Scotia, as well as the strength of the project’s business plan.
Recommendations made by the steering committee were then further reviewed. Project awards up to a value of $250,000 were reviewed and approved by the Nova Scotia Minister of Environment. For project awards that exceeded $250,000, review and approval by Executive Council was required.
ecoNova Scotia supported many projects and programs, and these are listed under the Projects tab.
The results from the supported projects and programs are outlined in the final report.