On 21 November 2016, Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil announced the implementation of a cap-and-trade program in 2018, responding to the requirements of the federal carbon pricing plan recently announced by the Canadian government.

According to the Premier’s announcement, Nova Scotia’s cap-and-trade program will be focused on the power, transport and building sectors. Initially, most allowances will be allocated for free and the use of offsets will be confined to emissions reduction projects within the province. Linking with other provinces is not foreseen. Nova Scotia will also adopt an emissions target that meets or even exceeds Canada’s 2030 target of reducing emissions 30% compared to 2005 levels.

Nova Scotia, one of the smaller maritime provinces located on the East Coast of Canada, emitted 19 Mt CO2e in 2012, making up about 2.7% of Canada’s national emissions. The province has already made ambitious strides in climate policy, primarily through emissions caps on the electricity sector and renewable portfolio standards. By 2014, Nova Scotia had already reduced its emissions by 17% below 1990 levels, exceeding its 2020 reduction target of 10% below 1990.