March 15th, 2019

NDP propose Local Action on Climate Change Act

HALIFAX - The NDP will table the Local Action on Climate Change Act today to give municipalities more powers to fight climate change.

“Where we have seen leadership in real action on climate change, just transition, energy poverty and innovation, it has been at the municipal level,” said Lisa Roberts, NDP Municipal Affairs spokesperson. “We need to support municipalities to seize the opportunities presented by climate change mitigation and green energy.”

The Act would create a fund to help cover the costs of climate change adaptation projects like dike improvements, shoreline restoration, and energy efficiency projects.

"Creating a Local Action on Climate Change fund that municipalities can access would help provide the resources necessary to address the impacts of climate change," said Meg Hodges, Municipal Councillor, District 1, Kings County. "There are important infrastructure projects, like dyke improvements, that desperately require attention. Provincial partnership and support for municipalities is essential for the future success and survival of our coastal communities."

It also requires the province to support projects like Solar City in the HRM, which are known as Property Assessed Clean Energy financing projects. The Act, if passed, would clarify that municipalities are allowed to create and own green energy utilities.

“The NS NDP legislation introduced today to support local action on climate change is a critical piece in the provincial/municipal full-spectrum approach to climate solutions,” said Gregory Heming, Municipal Councillor, District 5, Annapolis County. “It offers targeted funding to Nova Scotia Federation of Municipalities and suggests strong amendments to the Municipal Government Act in order to give broad powers to local governments to address climate change. The urgency of climate disruption demands bold action. An Act to Support Local Action on Climate Change is bold, practical, and necessary."

The bill would also provide funding for a Sustainability & Infrastructure Funding Support position at the Federation of Nova Scotia Municipalities.