The province is seeking public input to revise its provincial energy strategy and create an action plan to curb greenhouse-gas emissions. Public consultation workshops will take place in four mainland communities during the first week of December. Dalhousie University oceanography professor Bob Fournier will facilitate the sessions. “The province has set a deadline of 2020 for cutting greenhouse gas emissions 10 per cent below 1990,” said Energy Minister Richard Hurlburt. “We’re committed to achieving that goal while maintaining a strong and growing economy.” Mr. Fournier, who recently chaired an environmental assessment of the proposed White’s Point Quarry near Digby, said meeting those goals presents challenges for policy planners. “Our electricity, which is mostly coal-fired, generates about 42 per cent of our greenhouse gases,” said Mr. Fournier. “How do we reduce our use of coal without driving up electricity prices? How do we balance our need for wind power with our ability to provide adequate back-up power? What new technologies or initiatives should we be promoting to meet our green energy needs? “These are challenging questions and we want public input before we generate a policy that is to guide the province for years.” The December workshops will wrap up 12 similar sessions held around the province. They will take place in: — Amherst: Monday, Dec. 3, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., at The Wandlyn Inn, Exit 3, TransCanada Highway and West Victoria Street. — Antigonish: Tuesday, Dec. 4, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., in Conference Room A of the Keating Millennium Centre, St. Francis Xavier University. — Truro: Wednesday, Dec. 5, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m., at the 437 Prince St, Truro Convention Center — Halifax: Thursday, Dec. 6, 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., in Suite 101, World Trade and Convention Centre, 1800 Argyle St. The province has created two documents, Consultation Paper: Nova Scotia’s Renewed Energy Strategy and A Background Paper to Guide Nova Scotia’s Climate Change Action Plan, to help inform public discussion. The first deals with broad energy policy and the second with climate change — especially action to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. The documents are online at www.gov.ns.ca/energy/energystrategy . The province will also accept written submissions on energy strategy and greenhouse-gas reduction until Dec. 19. Information gathered from the public-consultation sessions will be used to create the Energy Strategy and the Climate Action Plan, scheduled for release in the spring. Under the Environmental Goals and Sustainable Prosperity Act, Nova Scotia has established a target to have one of the cleanest and most sustainable environments in the world by 2020.