(OTTAWA) January 7, 2016 – Nova Scotia Interim Green Party Leader Brynn Nheiley, and Federal Green Party of Canada Leader, Elizabeth May called on the Nova Scotia government to halt any plans to reopen the Donkin coal mine and instead focus on a renewable energy plan to create long-term sustainable jobs in Nova Scotia.
“While other provinces move away from coal, it is ridiculous to learn that the Nova Scotia government would even consider reopening the Donkin mine,” stated Nheiley. “The province’s decision flies in the face of the already inadequate target set by Nova Scotia’s government to reduce electricity generated greenhouse gas emissions by more than 50 per cent below 2009 levels by 2030. We need to be looking ahead and make the types of investments that will bring long-term sustainable economic prosperity to all Nova Scotia residents.”
Although the proposed Donkin mine has already received environmental approval from the province, the company is still required to submit a greenhouse gas management plan. The province has issued a tender seeking a consultant to provide information on how to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions. The consultant’s report is expected in March, and the provincial government plans to use the report to assess the company’s greenhouse gas emissions plan.
Elizabeth May, who was part of the Paris Climate Change negotiations, went further, saying, “It’s appalling to learn that the Nova Scotia government is moving ahead with plans to reopen the Donkin Mine. There simply is no way to drastically reduce the amount of emissions that would be produced if underground coal mining is allowed. It is a stark contradiction to the Paris Agreement, that calls to avoid having global warming from going above 1.5 degrees celsius.
The Green Party of Nova Scotia is working closely with organizations across the province opposed to the reopening of the coal mine. Elizabeth May concluded, “We fully support the Nova Scotia Green Party in their efforts to convince the provincial government to set aside any plans to reopen the mine and instead work towards building a 21st century economy that focuses on long-term sustainable development.
“Local politicians also suggest this local coal would be used in producing electricity. Cape Breton coal is notoriously understood to be high in many toxic pollutants, sulphur dioxide, and greenhouse gases. For the sake of 120 jobs, Nova Scotia must not undercut our kids’ future. I urge the 100% Liberal federal Nova Scotia caucus of MPs to work with the Cabinet to direct infrastructure spending in green spending to replace those jobs.”