Newfoundland and Labrador
August 1, 2020
Current majority government:
Premier: Andrew Furey, Liberal Party
Number of Members of Legislative Assembly in NL: 40
Progressive Conservative: 15
Find your Member of the Legislative Assembly here: (2)
Environmental stance of majority party:
The Liberal Provincial Government has acknowledged the importance of addressing climate change and has launched a climate change action plan:
The Way Forward on Climate Change (3) outlines a 5 year plan that includes:
Implementation of a province specific approach to carbon pricing -Initiatives to achieve clean economic growth.
Implementation of policies that aim to reduce GHG emissions in the transportation sector.
Reduction of GHG emissions from agriculture and forestry operations -Increase in energy efficiency and reduction of GHG emissions from homes and buildings.
Build capacity to enhance integration of climate change tools for infrastructure development.
Percentage of 2020/2021 budget estimated to be allocated to the environment:
Total budget: $8.65 billion
Total allocated to the Environment: $28.97 million
Percentage: 0.334% (5)
Main provincial-level legislation for environment protection:
Forest Protection Act (1990):
Develop and maintain forest conservation.
Aquaculture Act (1991):
Govern the conduct of aquaculture in order to promote the prudent and orderly development of the aquaculture industry.
Environmental Protection Act (2002):
Protect the environment and quality of life of the province’s people and facilitate the management of the province’s natural resources.
Sustainable Development Act (2007):
To respect the sustainable development of natural resources in the province.
Management of Greenhouse Gas Act (2016):
Regulate the greenhouse gas emissions from industrial facilities in the province. (6)
Specific government-based environmental programs:
Climate Change Challenge Fund:
Supports projects that result in material greenhouse gas reductions in the province.
Freight Transportation Fuel Efficiency Program:
Provides rebates for retrofitting existing heavy-duty trucks to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
Energy Efficiency in Oil Heated Homes Program:
Insulation and thermostat rebates for households reliant on fuel-oil for heating.
Expansion of the Home Energy Savings Program:
Assist low-income households in energy efficiency upgrades in electrically heated homes. (7)
Next election date:
On or before October 10th 2023. (9)
The Government of NL has a public awareness campaign on climate change and energy efficiency called “Turn Back The Tide.” (10)
What makes this province different?
NL federally approved provincial specific approach to carbon pricing was implemented on January 1st 2019. The Honourable Andrew Parsons, Minister of Municipal Affairs and the Environment at the time, stated that the plan takes into account “principles of maintaining competitiveness for taxation and trade, minimizing the impact on consumers and vulnerable groups, recognizing the considerable cost we are already paying for the Muskrat Falls Project to decarbonize electricity, and delivering meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.” (11)
In the last century the frequency of hurricanes and post-hurricane tropical storms has doubled. (12)
Higher water temperatures around Newfoundland and Labrador over the past two decades seems to be negatively impacting the abundance of snow crab and shrimp. (13)
Established invasive species in the province such as European green crab, Vase Tunicate, Violet Tunicate, and Golden Star Tunicate may become more larger ecosystem threats as water temperatures continue to increase. (14)
Winter sea ice that creates access to traditional foods, wood, and other coastal communities is decreasing as a result of higher sea surface temperatures. (15)