Nova Scotia leads in green growth, report concludes
A new report heralds Nova Scotia as a leader in curbing greenhouse gas emissions while steadily growing its economy.
The report, Eleven Ways to Measure Clean Growth by the Canadian Institute for Climate Choices, says the province achieved steady job growth while achieving the second-largest reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions among all provinces and territories.
Nova Scotia saw its GHG emissions drop by 26 per cent between 2005 and 2018, trailing only New Brunswick’s decline of 34 per cent, the report says. At the same time, Nova Scotia’s provincial GDP increased by 14 per cent after inflation, while job growth increased by three per cent.
And while the report notes these growth rates are lower than national averages – 24 per cent growth in GDP and 14 per cent growth in jobs – Nova Scotia’s job growth remained consistent with population growth and its overall unemployment levels remained stable.
At the national level, the report concludes that Canada is succeeding at growing the economy while curbing greenhouse gas emissions but more must be done by government to ensure progress is more equitable across the country.
The report aims to help governments understand how climate change interacts with factors that contribute to society’s long-term resilience and prosperity – such as GDP growth, technology development, trade, jobs, reduced poverty, affordable energy, improved air quality and ecosystem health.
“Climate progress isn’t practical or durable unless it also supports a strong economy. Our goal was to figure out what it takes to achieve clean growth, and how to measure progress,” says Rachel Samson, director of clean growth at the institute.
“The data shows it’s possible to grow the economy while addressing climate change – as long as policy is designed to achieve environmental, economic and social benefits simultaneously. Otherwise, progress in one area could cause setbacks in the others.”
The report concludes Canada is making headway in reducing greenhouse gas emissions while growing the economy, creating new employment opportunities in low-carbon sectors, and increasing investment in, and demand for, clean technology innovation and trade.
Yet the 11 indicators it proposes also highlight where progress on clean growth has been slow and uneven across regions, sectors and socio-economic groups.
The full report is available online.