Today, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, and the Honourable Tory Rushton, Nova Scotia’s Minister of Natural Resources and Renewables, jointly announced their intention to facilitate the transition to a clean economy and create sustainable jobs by refreshing and expanding the mandate of the Canada–Nova Scotia offshore energy regime. Both governments also committed to further collaborate on establishing a competitive, world-class offshore renewables sector, positioning Nova Scotia to become a world leader in offshore wind and clean hydrogen production.
To address and capitalize on emerging opportunities, the two governments have agreed to work toward modernizing the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board (CNSOPB) that would expand its mandate to include the regulation of offshore renewable energy development in the Canada–Nova Scotia offshore areas. Modernizing the CNSOPB is consistent with both governments’ commitments to diversify their economies and includes an intention to move forward by renaming the board to the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Energy Board (CNSOEB) to reflect its new mandate.
To implement these changes, the Government of Canada intends to amend the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Resources Accord Implementation Act, and the Government of Nova Scotia has committed to introducing mirroring legislative amendments in the province’s House of Assembly.
The CNSOPB will draw on existing regulatory experience, technical expertise and administrative capacity. The new Board will become the lead regulatory body for offshore energy in the Canada–Nova Scotia offshore areas, creating a predictable and streamlined regulatory environment and promoting investor confidence in the deployment of renewables.
As Canada and Nova Scotia facilitate the emergence of a globally competitive offshore renewables sector, both governments and the CNSOEB have agreed that the primary focus of offshore development efforts will be renewable energy projects.
As the Government of Nova Scotia continues to build on its strategy for economic growth and job creation, it is committed to taking the actions set out in its provincial Climate Change Action Plan, advancing electrification and innovation, and implementing its Renewable Electricity Plan to further the transition into more renewable energy sources. This work is well underway and will continue to be informed by input from the general public, industry and business leaders, civil society organizations, Indigenous groups and the Nova Scotia Round Table on the Environment and Sustainable Prosperity.
The governments of both Canada and Nova Scotia are committed to creating regulatory alignment and certainty in a way that will allow offshore renewable projects to be expedited moving forward in support of the clean energy transition. Therefore, both governments will work together to consider adjustments to the regulatory regime for these projects to proceed as efficiently as possible while ensuring that regulatory reviews remain rigorous and effective.
In further support of this work, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, in partnership with the Government of Nova Scotia, will be initiating a regional assessment for offshore wind energy in Nova Scotia to assist in providing long-term regulatory certainty and clarity for investors, which will be conducted in consultation with the CNSOEB.
Additionally, Natural Resources Canada will initiate a regional process to work collaboratively with provinces and territories, Indigenous partners and the private sector to create place-based economic strategies that facilitate the creation of sustainable jobs through the clean energy transition.
“The Government of Canada is supporting Canada’s energy sector as it seeks to compete in the net-zero economy of tomorrow. By working with provincial partners like Nova Scotia, we are helping to grow the economy in a way that is compatible with our climate commitments.”
The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister of Natural Resources Canada
“Nova Scotia is a national leader in fighting climate change and we’re committed to having 80 percent of our electricity needs met with renewables by 2030. Expanding the regulatory authority to cover offshore renewable energy development will help us work toward cleaner sources of energy and create green jobs in Nova Scotia.”
The Honourable Tory Rushton
Minister of Natural Resources and Renewables, Nova Scotia
“The offshore regulatory Board and staff welcomes the expansion of our mandate to transition to marine renewables. With the two offshore natural gas projects successfully decommissioned and no drilling planned, we are all excited to work with both governments, Indigenous groups and our stakeholders, including the fishing community and environmental groups, to transition our world-class experience and expertise to the regulation of the renewable energy sector in the Canada–Nova Scotia Offshore Area.”
“Offshore renewable energy is a growing global market, with huge potential to contribute towards Canada’s net-zero and blue economy goals. With some of the best offshore wind resources in the world, Nova Scotia can develop this resource to meet increasing demand for clean electricity, and also to produce clean fuels such as green hydrogen for export and domestic use. Growth of this sector also poses a unique opportunity for a just transition – as Canada moves away from fossil fuel development, businesses with decades of experience in offshore oil and gas can diversify and transfer skills to activities such as offshore wind installation and hydrogen production, storage and distribution. Marine Renewables Canada welcomes the measures announced today by the governments of Canada and Nova Scotia – they are significant and important steps to kick starting this promising industry”
Executive Director, Marine Renewables Canada
“There are significant opportunities ahead for Nova Scotia as we move toward a carbon-neutral future. Recent research shows that both offshore wind and clean hydrogen hold significant potential for the province and could become important new sources of renewable energy as well as economic engines, creating jobs and influencing growth. Expanding the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Energy Board’s mandate to include offshore renewable energy development is an important step in advancing a sustainable and inclusive energy transition in Nova Scotia. We’re looking forward to supporting continued progress in increasing the production of renewable energy and reducing carbon emissions”
Executive Director, NetZero Atlantic
- In March 2022, Canada relaunched public consultations on legislation to support a just transition through the creation of sustainable jobs, submissions will be accepted until April 30, 2022.
- On March 29, 2022, the Government of Canada tabled its 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan: Canada’s Next Steps for Clean Air and a Strong Economy, a detailed plan that lays out an achievable path toward Canada’s emissions reduction target of 40-45 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050. As part of that plan the Government of Canada is committed to cap and cut emissions from the oil and gas sector at the pace and scale needed to get to net zero by 205o.