HALIFAX - Nova Scotia Premier Darrell Dexter says he is confident he can dodge international politics and promote his province's business interests when he heads to Copenhagen, Denmark to participate in the United Nations conference on climate change next week.
Dexter said he is mindful of Canada's tarnished environmental reputation in light of Ottawa's stance on climate change, but added he would rather not weigh in on the contentious issue.
"I think it would be unwise of me to get into the game of criticizing the federal government," Dexter said Tuesday.
"I'm there to promote what it is Nova Scotia can do to add value to the Canadian position."
Canada has come under pressure to do more to combat climate change after the federal government said it wouldn't sign any agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol unless developing countries also adopt tough targets.
Ottawa has also said it would hitch its environmental policy to that of the United States because of the two countries' extensive economic relationship.
Dexter, in addition to being part of the Canadian delegation, will also lead a provincial business group looking to promote industries involved in green technology and energy production.
Dexter will be joined in Copenhagen by Environment Minister Sterling Belliveau and representatives from 12 Nova Scotia businesses.
Scott Travers, president of Minas Basin Pulp and Paper, will be among the group to look for investors for the company's power project in the Bay of Fundy.
"Let's face it. Canada's known for having the largest carbon footprint per capita, but we've got people here who can bring home solutions," Travers said.
"We'd like to come back with money in hand but I don't expect that to happen. We do expect to build relationships."
Dexter, who will speak at the climate leaders' summit about tidal energy, touted Nova Scotia as the first jurisdiction in North America to set hard caps on greenhouse gases and pollution from power plants.
Under new rules implemented earlier this year, Nova Scotia Power is required to cut emissions by 25 per cent by 2020.
Belliveau will speak at a trade expo about renewable energy and environmental technologies.
The companies going to Copenhagen with Dexter are paying their own way.