Halifax, NS — Nova Scotia is looking to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 53 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 and to net zero by 2050. This provincial climate goal comes as part of its Climate Action Plan, which was released in December 2022.
“We need to take a holistic view and recognize that climate change will affect us in many ways. Responding to climate change requires a coordinated and collective effort from all of us,” reports Timothy Halman, Nova Scotia’s minister of environment and climate change. “This plan is a starting point for a new focus on climate action. It will require collaboration and contributions from individuals and organizations across the province. It will create jobs, make lives more affordable, and strengthen our communities.”
The climate change plan has 68 actions, which were determined by the province’s climate change risk assessment, conversations with Nova Scotians, and local opportunities for action, according to the report.
Of the 68 actions, there are several that are of great interest to the skilled trades sector. For instance, the plan sets in place steps to help new building developments install shared heating systems to make multi-building heating more efficient.
Additionally, it looks at moving away from oil heating by at least 20 per cent by 2030 by helping retrofit 60,000 homes and piloting a new off-oil program for homeowners to completely replace oil heating equipment with electric ones. It is also looking at providing energy efficiency upgrades to more low-income households by expanding on programs such as HomeWarming and the Affordable Multifamily Housing program.
Other areas of importance for the HVAC/R industries include:
- Continuing with the Mi’kmaw Home Energy Efficiency Project and piloting a similar program for African Nova Scotian communities
- Banning installations of oil-fired heating equipment in new buildings by 2025
- Adopting the 2020 National Energy Code for Buildings and the 2020 National Building Code
- Supporting the construction and renovation of net-zero homes and multi-unit residential buildings, including net-zero affordable housing
- Helping commercial and institutional building owners better understand energy performance and plan for energy efficiency upgrades through voluntary energy-use monitoring
- Requiring all new government buildings and major retrofits that enter planning after 2022 be net-zero energy ready and climate resilient, and prioritize leases on buildings that are committed to net-zero energy standards and climate resiliency starting in 2030
- Launching the Green Choice Program in 2023, which will allow the government to purchase 100 per cent renewable electricity for operations as it becomes available
- Creating a green hydrogen action plan by 2023 to support the development of the green hydrogen sector in Nova Scotia
The Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Insitute of Canada (HRAI) states that it will be engaging with the Nova Scotian government in the coming months to clarify the implications of the plan and to help inform how it should be rolled out to maximize the benefit for Nova Scotians and the HVAC/R industries.