Nova Scotia-only Cap & Trade system announced

There appear to be no incentives (or disincentives) for forestry

An objective carbon accounting would penalize both clearcutting and use of primary forest biomass (versus genuine wastes) in bioenergy schemes.

“Nova Scotia’s Environment Minister has announced that the province will go it alone for now in creating its new carbon pricing plan.” View N.S. lays groundwork for cap and trade system (ATV News, Sep 29, 2017).

View NS Government Press Release (Sep 29, 2017).

From the government:

Nova Scotia is a national leader in fighting climate change,” said Environment Minister Iain Rankin. “Working closely with our stakeholders, our program will set and achieve targets for further greenhouse gas reductions while protecting the pocketbooks of Nova Scotians.

The fledgling plan has its critics.

Nova Scotia has shown that the most effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and pollution is through hard regulatory targets that force polluters to reduce their impact. The plan also includes a “strategic reserve” of emissions credits that will be released on the market at the request of polluters. This effectively means there will be no hard cap on emissions in the province. “Everything about this Cap and Trade plan seems designed to benefit polluters, not to help Nova Scotia transition to a green and sustainable future,” said Zann. “This is a do-nothing bill.” – NS NDP

The system will set greenhouse gas emissions targets, but those targets are not yet known. That has many stakeholders concerned. “This is precedent-setting for Canada’s carbon pricing program. A carbon pricing system that doesn’t actually put a price on carbon, support low-income people, or incentivize clean growth truly misses the point,” says Stephen Thomas, Energy Campaign Coordinator with the Ecology Action Centre. “Unless something changes, we feel that the federal government should consider rejecting this system…Nova Scotia’s proposal is to trade emission reductions only within the province, not with other jurisdictions. With a population under a million in Nova Scotia and only about 20 estimated businesses covered in the pricing scheme, many worry that the system will be extremely volatile as entities enter or leave the trading system. “From a population perspective, Nova Scotia creating its own carbon trading system is like the city of Ottawa creating its own system,” says Wayne Groszko, Renewable Energy Coordinator with the Centre. “It’s difficult to understand why they think this makes sense.” – EAC

It seems that the potential role of forestry in sequestering and storing carbon, and benefits to woodlot owners and to biodiversity conservation that would accrue from a Cap and Trade system beyond our borders as advocated by Dale Prest are under the radar right now. So also, I imagine, are the enhanced carbon emissions associated with clearcutting and use of primary forest biomass for bioenergy.


Cap and Trade could provide major incentive NOT to clearcut
Post on this website, Nov 18, 2016.

Looking deeper: An investigation of soil carbon losses following harvesting from a managed northeastern red spruce (Picea rubens Sarg.) forest chronosequence
A. Diochon et al., 2009. Forest Ecology and Management 257:v413-420.
research conducted in Nova Scotia.”Storage of carbon reached a minimum 32 years post-harvest, at which time stores were approximately 50% of the intact forest.

Natural Resources Canada GHG Calculator confirms Nova Scotia forest bioenergy schemes are worse than coal
Post on this website, Jan 3 18, 2017.

Are biofuels from Nova Scotia forests good for the environment? Show us the science!
Post on this website, May 4, 2017

We could do better. Much better.

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