Nova Scotia will focus on issues that advance its Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act at the Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers, Premier Rodney MacDonald said today, June 25. “Acting in concert with our neigbouring provinces and states will reinforce the legitimacy and urgency of our environmental goals,” Premier MacDonald said. The New England governors and Eastern Canadian premiers are meeting June 25-26 in Prince Edward Island. Premier MacDonald will use the opportunity to brief his Canadian counterparts on his efforts to make the federal government honour the 2005 Atlantic Accord which was gutted by the recent federal budget. A key item on this year’s agenda is ministerial-level recommendations on energy and the environment. “Greenhouse-gas targets and tailpipe emissions are two areas where Nova Scotia has set ambitious goals,” Premier MacDonald said. “It is my hope that we will see them reflected in the results of this conference.” In 2001, the conference released its short-, mid-, and long-term goals for greenhouse gases, however, emissions in the region have risen since then. Nova Scotia’s Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act has put the mid-term target into Nova Scotia law: a 10 per cent reduction from 1990 levels by 2020. Nova Scotia’s Minister of Environment and Labour, Mark Parent, sponsored the new legislation and will also attend the meeting. The act also requires the government to set auto emission standards by 2010. “The New England governors and Eastern Canadian premiers represent about 30 million people, which means a common standard would have significant influence with the auto industry,” Premier MacDonald said. “Consequently, that is something Nova Scotia will push very hard at the meeting.” The Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers was established in 1973 in recognition of the special regional interests that exist among the six New England states and the five Eastern Canadian provinces. Its members are the premiers of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Quebec, and the governors of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut.