Addressing climate action and social equity in Nova Scotia’s urban areas

Energy Financing

Designing and implementing programs that address both energy affordability for many Nova Scotians and climate action for us all is at the heart of Clean’s Energy team. Working alongside a network of community organizations and trade partners, the team aims for the intersection of two complex challenges – where climate action overlaps with social equity.

For their work to have a deep impact, the team’s efforts address social equity and energy issues in our communities with the help of like-minded community partners. Clean works with partners across the province, often in rural communities, but members of the energy team have also joined groups that are planning climate action in Nova Scotia’s two largest urban areas—Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) and Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM).

Focusing on clean energy initiatives in Nova Scotia’s largest city

HalifACT, the climate action movement for Halifax, is setting ambitious goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in HRM. There are many committees and initiatives underway to tackle climate action, including the R3 Committee (Resilience, Renewal and Retrofits) involving a collaboration of city staff, provincial energy and environment staff, Efficiency Nova Scotia, contractors, Clean Foundation, and other climate champions. Its purpose is to design the widespread and innovative retrofit and clean energy programs that will be needed to achieve climate targets.

“We’re fortunate to be able to offer both practical and strategic advice to the committee,” explained Sean Kelly, Director of Clean Energy. “We’re very involved in energy efficiency retrofit programs and energy poverty reduction programs such as HomeWarming, and are excited to see what we can collectively do in Halifax.”

Impacts of 2020 provide opportunities for change in Cape Breton

Members of the Clean Energy team act as coordinating members of the CBRM Climate Change Task Force (CCTF). This group pulls together individuals from across Cape Breton to share knowledge, provide support, and inspire climate action. The CCTF actively develops proposals, guides municipal decision-makers, promotes existing climate action initiatives, and provides a collective voice to concerned citizens across Cape Breton.

“In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a realization that there would likely be significant investments made in stimulating the green economy in the region,” Rob Harris, Clean Energy Senior Manager shared. “Being able to share a collective vision and voice for our community helps us to have greater influence on the direction of large-scale economic recovery projects.”

What motivates the Clean Energy team to seek collaborative opportunities?

While members of the Clean Energy team are all individually motivated to seek engagement opportunities with like-minded organizations and citizens around climate action, they have a uniting mantra.

“We just feel that it’s the right thing to do,” Sean said. “We live here. We live in Halifax, we live in Sydney, so we need to be involved in climate action professionally but also as individual citizens.”

To create a positive change in the lives of Nova Scotia facing energy challenges, the Clean has relied heavily on the passion and talent of its Energy team, and wants to build relationships and work in conjunction with like-minded stakeholders. They continually work in partnership with the many groups, organizations and individuals who share similar goals and the want to make meaningful changes in the energy sector that will positively impact Nova Scotians, and our environment, for years to come.

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