Nova Scotia will be the first province in Canada to achieve carbon neutrality, its new premier is pledging.

In his administration’s first speech from the throne, Iain Rankin emphasized the importance of climate change and the need to take decisive action to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

“Climate change is the challenge of our generation and my government has already decided to take decisive action to address this issue,” the newly minted Liberal leader and premier declared in the throne speech, delivered earlier this month by Lt.-Gov. Arthur J. LeBlanc.

Rankin promised that the provincial government will lead the way by ensuring all government offices use renewable electricity by 2025.

He reaffirmed the plan to move the province away from using coal for energy by 2030, 10 years sooner than planned.

As well, he re-committed to a recently announced $19-million rebate program designed to help lower-income citizens achieve a low-carbon lifestyle.

The “jobs of the future” are in greener products and renewable energy, Rankin declared in the speech, indicating that taking action to curb climate change will help strengthen the economy.

“As we tackle climate change and work towards our economic recovery, new job opportunities will be created across the province in renewable energy,” he said. “This is about creating the jobs of the future across the province in both rural and urban communities.”