Fraction of Nova Scotia's Green Fund spent on climate change programs: auditor

HALIFAX — Nova Scotia's auditor general says only a fraction of a government fund established to combat climate change has been spent on solving the problem.

Kim Adair says a performance audit of the Green Fund has found almost $74 million was transferred out of the fund over its first two years of operation, but only $11.9 million has been spent on climate change programs.

Adair says the bulk of the money — about $60 million — is sitting in "program partner" bank accounts.

Her report says it remains unclear why the Department of Environment and Climate Change handed millions of dollars to non-government parties before the money was needed to deliver Green Fund initiatives.

Adair says the audit highlights the importance of providing funding only as needed to ensure it’s used for its intended purpose.

The Green Fund was set up in 2019 to collect revenue from Nova Scotia's cap-and-trade program, which allowed companies to emit greenhouse gases so long as they purchased emissions allowances.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 28, 2023.

The Canadian Press