• CCNB logo HRAttention News Editors: Here is some background that may be helpful in reporting on Environment and Local Government Minister Serge Rousselle’s comments today about a carbon-pricing system for New Brunswick:
    • To date, Canadian jurisdictions that have announced or implemented a system for pricing carbon include Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, and, now, New Brunswick.
    • In June 2017, New Brunswick’s Auditor General delivered a substantive review of the province’s climate change plan, including recommendations to turn policy intentions into on-the-ground work to protect homes and communities from what she called “one of the greatest challenges for communities, governments and corporations in the coming decades.” Among other things, the review called for an aggressive timeline and full details on how the government plans to execute the 118 actions laid out in its Climate Change Action Plan.
    • New Brunswick’s Climate Change Action Plan, released in December 2016, contained all the elements for effective climate action in N.B., including commitments to Premier-led governance, target-driven policies, and sources of funding to support programs for low-income families, homeowners, and industry. It also included several measures called for by the Legislative Select Committee on Climate Change, including legislating carbon pollution reduction targets and energy-efficiency improvement targets, and phasing out coal from electricity production and phasing in more renewable energy like solar, wind, biomass and hydro.
    • One month after the climate change plan was released, New Brunswickers experienced a sobering example of climate change impacts at home with the January 2017 ice storm that led to two people dying from carbon monoxide poisoning and nearly 300,000 homes and businesses left without power, some for up to 13 days. NB Power estimates the damages to its infrastructure at $30-million, making it the most expensive restoration in the utility's history.
    • New Brunswickers are keenly aware that climate change is already happening in their communities in the forms of more extreme ice storms, hurricanes and flooding events. The Ice Storm Review 2017, released in August 2017, provided a snapshot of climate change-related extreme weather events in New Brunswick, including but not limited to:
      • Hurricane Arthur in July 2014, which brought torrential rains and 100-km/hour winds that caused road closures and washouts and significant infrastructure damages across the province. The total damages were estimated at $12.5 million.
      • A Nor-easter in December 2014 which impacted 56 roads with flooding or washouts across several regions, with impacts primarily concentrated in the Moncton region. Damages totalled $10.3 million.
      • Extreme flooding and storm surges in December 2010 which resulted in $13.8 million in damages from flooding in Charlotte and York Counties, and $3 million in damages associated with storm surges affecting the east and northeast coasts of the province.

    Jon MacNeill
    Communications DirectorConservation Council of New Brunswick/
    Conseil de conservation du Nouveau-Brunswick
    458-8747 | 238-3539
  • Free Videos and Lesson Plans About Climate Change in Atlantic Canada!

    (For use in middle and high school classrooms in New Brunswick.)

    Students learn about climate change from experts and locals with decades of first-hand experience (such as beekeepers, farmers, snowplow drivers, fishers, gardeners, and First Nations elders). 

    View the classroom materials here: http://www.fundy-biosphere.ca/en/projects-and-initiatives/education.html

    Schools can request a free presentation and training session for their teachers by Fundy Biosphere staff on how to use the education materials in their classrooms.

    Contact Megan de Graaf by email at info@fundy-biosphere.ca.

    Book your training session before March 31st 2016!

  • .
  • Happy day! Finally it looks like Canada and New Brunswick are taking climate change seriously. Really seriously. And they are ready to listen! Members of Parliament are holding town hall meetings to hear from their constituents about climate change. The provincial government has launched a Select Committee on Climate Change which will be hearing from expert witnesses and holding meetings around the province to hear from ordinary people. And the federal-provincial working groups have an online portal to garner opinions from one and all.

    So, what’s the hold up? Why aren’t environmentalists falling all over themselves on this? Why hasn’t someone launched a big public campaign? It’s almost like it is too big! It seems like even long-time environmental activists feel like they don’t know enough. After all, climate change is not most people’s expertise. That being said, everyone knows its potential impacts on the area that they do work on – water, forests, air, endangered species, health.

    Climate change is the backdrop issue lurking in every environmentalist’s mind. Whatever issue is your passion climate change plays a role. If you work to improve the environment by direct action such as restoring a river or protecting precious habitat, that good work could fall from the climate wrecking ball. If advocating for protecting human health from chemical exposure or changing forestry practices is your thing, climate change scenarios make the doom and gloom situations much gloomier. Plus, if you start to think about your grandchildren, it is hard to maintain any sense of optimism whatsoever.

    Right now we are all invited to raise our voices. Let’s raise them together and show that dealing with climate change is as important as it gets!

      For more information…
  • Press Release

    A Bold, Made-in-New Brunswick Plan to Address Climate Change

    Conservation Council of New Brunswick releases policy options to spur climate change conversation

    July 13, 2016

    Fredericton, N.B. –A new report from the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, released today, offers provincial politicians, environmental policy makers, and citizens a bold vision for New Brunswick. The three-part plan covers electricity, provincial investments, and government policies required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while keeping bills low and creating jobs for New Brunswickers.

    New Brunswick’s greenhouse gas emissions mostly come from using fossil fuel energy: coal, oil and natural gas to make electricity to heat and cool our homes, and power our appliances and industry, as well as gasoline and diesel to run our vehicles and trucks to move people and goods.

    The Conservation Council’s“Climate Action Plan for NewBrunswick”proposes to reduce these emissions through investments to retrofit our buildings, starting with social and low-income housing; expanding efforts to install renewable energy like solar and wind; and accelerating installation of the Energy Internet (Smart Grid telecommunications) to manage a more distributed electricity load. These investments would help NB Power phase coal out of electricity production over the next 15 years. The Conservation Council’s plan also proposes creating incentives to help New Brunswickers buy electric and energy efficient vehicles and trucks as Ontario and Quebec have done, and modernizing industry and manufacturing to cut waste and pollution.

    Blue-Green Canada, an alliance of labour and environmental groups calculates that for every $1 million invested in the fossil fuel sector two jobs are created, while 15 jobs are created for the same amount in the clean energy sector. Using those figures, New Brunswick could create up to 7,500 jobs a year by investing its climate action dollars in clean energy and energy efficiency retrofits which, in turn, would keep energy bills low for New Brunswickers.

    QUOTES:

    “There is strong scientific consensus that the climate is becoming unbalanced mostly because of human activity (95% - 100% certainty).” – Dr. Louise Comeau, Director of Climate Change and Energy Policy.

    “Post-tropical storm Arthur opened New Brunswickers’ eyes to the reality of climate change. We now know and accept that climate change is a reality. The Conservation Council wants to start a serious conversation about adapting to, and mitigating, the damage to our communities as a result of a rapidly changing climate.” – Dr. Louise Comeau, Director of Climate Change and Energy Policy.

    “We need a comprehensive climate action plan that helps New Brunswick do its fair share so others will too. We need to work together because we can’t protect the people and communities we care about from extreme changes to the climate without partnering to drastically cut greenhouse gas pollution.” - Dr. Louise Comeau, Director of Climate Change and Energy Policy.

    “New Brunswick needs to implement policies and programs that are fair and cut waste by making polluters use clean energy and practice more sustainable agriculture and forestry.” – Dr. Louise Comeau, Director of Climate Change and Energy Policy.

    “If we act together, we can limit the risks to our health and communities from a more extreme climate.” – Dr. Louise Comeau, Director of Climate Change and Energy Policy.

    Key Facts:

    • New Brunswick is the second most electricity-dependent economy in Canada behind Québec. As a regional energy hub, New Brunswick is well positioned to become a clean energy leader by investing heavily in NB Power’s Smart Grid technology to give the electricity system the capacity it needs to significantly increase the supply of renewable energy, phase out coal-fired generating stations, and provide load balancing services to Nova Scotia, PEI, and New England.

    • Global investments in clean energy are increasing, spurring increased employment in the sector while the costs of clean energy have decreased significantly. Canada hasn’t kept pace, investing only $4 billion CND in 2015 while global investments in clean energy reached $325 billion USD, according to Clean Energy Canada’s Tracking the Energy Revolution 2016 report.

    • In 2015, the Atlantic Premiers and New England Governors agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions 35% to 45% below 1990 levels by 2030. New Brunswick’s contribution to meeting that goal is to eliminate 6.5 million tonnes from our carbon budget. Almost 40% of those reductions can be achieved by phasing out coal to generate electricity, as Ontario has already done and Alberta will do by 2030.

    The Conservation Council of New Brunswick (conservationcouncil.ca) has been at the forefront of environmental protection in New Brunswick since 1969.We are a non-profit organization that creates awareness of environmental problems and advances practical solutions through research, education and interventions.


    Contact: Mike Girard

    Office: 506-458-8747

    E-mail: mike.girard@conservationcouncil.ca
  • Tuesday, 20 June, 2017

    Conservation Council reacts to Auditor General’s report on climate action in N.B.

    The Auditor General of New Brunswick, Kim MacPherson, has delivered a substantive review of the province’s climate change plan and what is needed to turn policy intentions into on-the-ground work to protect homes and communities from what she says “may be one of the greatest challenges for communities, governments and corporations in the coming decades.”

    “New Brunswick’s Auditor General’s report should put wind in the sails of the government’s plans to reduce carbon pollution and make our communities healthy and strong in the face of climate change,” says Lois Corbett, Executive Director of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick.

    “She points out, and rightly so, that while the 2016 Climate Change Action Plan lays out a series of 118 actions, we lack an aggressive time table or details on implementation.

    She recommends that the government introduce legislation to set its pollution targets into law, similar to that found in British Columbia, Quebec, Ontario, and Nova Scotia.

    We couldn't agree more and might go even a bit further — let’s see the legislation introduced the next time the Legislative Assembly meets, and let’s hope all parties vote for its speedy adoption.

    “If we want to catch this boat, the time for the government and NB Power to move is now. Not in 2018. Not ten years from now," says Corbett.
     -30-

    The Conservation Council of New Brunswick
    Established in 1969, the Conservation Council of New Brunswick has remained the province’s leading public advocate for environmental protection. A member of the UN’s Global 500 Roll of Honour, we work to find practical solutions to help families and citizens, educators, governments and businesses protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, the precious marine ecosystem and the land, including the forest, that support us.

    Recommended links

    To arrange an interview, contact:
    Jon MacNeill, Communications Director | 458-8747 | jon.macneill@conservationcouncil.ca
  • Édition spéciale du NB Naturalist bientôt disponible!


    Nous sommes heureux de vous informer que nous publions un numéro spécial de notre magazine, le NB Naturalist, sur la Nature, la Biodiversité et les Changements Climatiques. Le magazine est gratuit et prêt à être envoyé par la poste d'ici la fin du mois de novembre.  Nous aimerions le rendre disponible dans toute la province, veuillez nous faire savoir si vous êtes intéressés à contribuer à la distribution dans votre région. L'édition est entièrement traduite. Veuillez remplir le formulaire ici : https://goo.gl/forms/IdGVeuUJQOwBqj8o2.Si vous avez des questions, n'hésitez pas à nous contacter: 506-459-4209

     

     

     

    Vol 44 No 3 Nov 2017 P1 3

     

  • While the first ministers may take some time to agree on a national climate plan, there is some federal-provincial collaboration already in the works. Canada's federal and provincial auditors general are joining forces to come up with the first comprehensive national audit of climate change actions. Julie Gelfand, federal Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, is heading up this national initiative that will be completed in 2017.  

    Ms. Gelfand was appointed as Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development in March 2014. She previously served as President of Nature Canada, and has worked in the mining sector.  

    Read more here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/federal-provincial-auditors-combine-forces-1.3453346

  • The NBEN organized a meeting yesterday with 15 environmental groups and the Minister of Environment and Local Government and his senior staff. It was a great meeting during which we explored ways to work more closely together on water, climate change, regional planning, and other issues. Thank you to everyone who attended!

    mtg Minister Kenny 2016 Mar 2
    Photo: Ann Pohl
  • JIM EMBERGER COMMENTARY

    July 24, 2018  Telegraph Journal, Daily Gleaner, Times Transcript

    It was gratifying to see a recent article acknowledging that climate change has already changed our weather, and that weather-related problems will become ever more frequent and severe (“Not... our grandparents’ weather, July 14, A2).

    In the piece, a senior climatologist at Environment and Climate Change Canada, David Phillips, laid out in no-nonsense terms that New Brunswickers will be challenged to adapt to our increasingly confused climate.

    Warnings and good advice about adapting are a necessary discussion, but the real conversation we need to be having on climate change is about preventing the growing threats from a changed climate.

    It’s not as if there is some mysterious force wrecking the climate, with nothing we can do besides learning to live with it. Rather, it is undeniable that the climate-change culprit is our burning of fossil fuels, and the way to slow climate damage is to simply burn fewer of them.

    This elementary and obvious policy solution, however, seems impossible for some to publicly acknowledge. Perhaps, that’s because once you acknowledge a fact, then you must act on that knowledge even if it is uncomfortable.

    Mr. Phillips could have painted an even darker picture. Numerous studies show the climate is changing faster than originally thought and will result in an even hotter world. This past month’s global heat wave shattered temperature records worldwide, often by double digits. Fifty-four people died in Quebec as a result of the heat wave.

    It’s a foreshadowing that should focus our minds, much like the record-breaking floods in New Brunswick. Adaptation to such catastrophes will certainly be necessary, but there are limits to adaptation, especially if conditions continually get worse.

    How many times can you raise the height of a dike, seawall or house on stilts? For trees destroyed by tropical storms, ice storms, warmer temperatures and an ever-growing list of invasive species, it’s too late to adapt.

    And when it’s too hot to work (or even exist) outdoors, adaptation has reached its end, as it is already has in some places. The only long-term solution is to keep conditions from getting worse, and that means reducing our use of fossil fuels.

    Recently, I asked Progressive Conservative leader Blaine Higgs how his plans to lift the moratorium on fracking and promote a shale gas industry fit into plans to combat climate change. It was actually a trick question, because there is only one answer: To slow climate change we cannot exploit any new fossil fuels, and we must leave much of what we have already discovered in the ground.

    This reality now drives global economic trends, which cast doubt on the wisdom of any new fossil fuel investments.

    New studies predict that the plunging cost of renewable energy, advances in battery storage, electric vehicles and energy-efficiency measures will reduce the demand for fossil fuels so significantly that $1 trillion dollars of fossil fuel infrastructure will become worthless by 2035.

    If governments act to reduce emissions as well, the losses grow to $4 trillion dollars and the timetable is shortened by years.

    The U.S. and Canada would be the biggest losers in this scenario because they produce the most expensive fossil fuels – fracked oil and gas, and oil sands. New Brunswick is fortunate to not have much existing unconventional fossil fuel infrastructure at risk.

    But the Atlantica Centre for Energy and Encana claim that now is the time to build a shale gas infrastructure, because current supplies from Nova Scotia will soon run out, leaving 8,600 buildings without gas.

    The obvious rebuttal to this argument is to simply buy gas from elsewhere. But an even better answer is that most gas customers can switch to cleaner sources of energy, which they will eventually have to do anyway. The government and NB Power could even assist in their transition, as part of climate, innovation and energy-efficiency programs.

    In any case, New Brunswick has 319,773 private dwellings and 30,164 businesses. Simple math shows that 8,600 gas-using buildings make up only two per cent of the total. This hardly makes a case for undertaking the huge financial, health and environmental risks of building a new shale gas industry.

    Ireland and Scotland also have fracking moratoriums. Ireland just decided to disinvest all government funds from fossil fuel projects, and Scotland is debating whether to even accept fracked gas from other countries.

    Canada, however, remains among the world’s top three contributors to climate change on a per person basis, due to the high greenhouse gas emissions of our unconventional fossil fuel industries.

    Surely, our New Brunswick moratorium makes the moral statement that “we” at least won’t make things worse for our children, the world and ourselves.

    Keeping the moratorium not only protects us from fracking’s many threats to our health and the environment. It also helps slow climate change, and keeps us from making an unnecessary and seriously self-destructive fiscal decision.

    Jim Emberger is spokesperson for the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance (NoShaleGasNB.ca).
  • ccnb-logo-hr
    September 29, 2016

    PRESS RELEASE

    Fredericton, N.B. – A national assessment by the Pembina Institute of provincial progress on climate action commitments finds New Brunswick at the back of the pack on climate action.The Race to the Front: Tracking Pan-Canadian Climate Progress and Where We Go from Here report, released in collaboration with the Conservation Council, sets the context for an all-important meeting of Environment Ministers Monday, October 3 in Montreal.

    The meeting of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) is expected to approve options developed by four federal-provincial working groups to meet commitments made in Paris at the United Nations Climate Conference in December 2015. CCME recommendations will go to Premiers and the Prime Minister to support final negotiations leading to a meeting of First Ministers (FMM) in November. The FMM is expected to finalize a framework where each province would be required to meet certain basic climate action requirements such as putting in place carbon pricing regime meeting similar price and coverage benchmarks across Canada. Provinces failing to do so by a certain date would have a carbon charge imposed by the federal government (the backstop). The federal Government is also expected to accelerate regulations to phase coal out of electricity production. The Pembina Institute report assesses where provinces currently are with respect to climate action and highlights additional actions required by provinces and the federal Government.

    The Conservation Council has published a provincial climate action plan detailing recommendations for doing our fair share to cut carbon pollution. Proposed actions could improve energy efficiency and increase the supply of renewable energy in buildings, industry and transportation, and create jobs at home.

    “New Brunswick shows weak progress on climate action, but we believe the province can make a positive contribution to Canada’s pollution reduction goals. To reduce emissions in the near term, New Brunswick must implement an economy-wide carbon price with funds raised invested in greenhouse gas reductions, and it needs to agree to phase coal out of electricity production no later than 2030,” says Louise Comeau, Director of Climate Change and Energy Solutions.

    The Conservation Council of New Brunswick is committed to doing its part to help New Brunswick move to a 100% renewable energy future by creating awareness and advancing practical solutions through research, education and policy development.As a local environmental organization, CCNB supports the transition to clean energy in New Brunswick and what’s being done to reach renewable goals.

    For more information, contact: Dr. Louise Comeau, Director of Climate Change and Energy Solutions, CCNB, Tel. (506)238-0355

    Download the Pembina Report here:

  • CCNB logo HR
    FREDERICTON —
     Lois Corbett, Executive Director, issued the following statement regarding today’s announcement about climate change legislation. She is available for comment.

    “I’m pleased the province has followed the Conservation Council’s advice, and that of the Auditor General, by enshrining climate change targets in law. It is not clear, however, that climate fund the bill sets up will go far enough to protect the health and safety of New Brunswick families and communities already suffering from extreme ice storms, hurricanes and flooding caused by climate change.

    There are no new incentives, financial or otherwise, to innovate, reduce pollution or change behaviours. By toeing the status quo, the government has missed its goal of helping N.B. transition to a low-carbon economy and create jobs.

    It is an uninspiring follow-up to last December’s climate change action plan, which was a smart road map for climate action and job creation that was among the best in the country. And I sorely doubt it will meet the bar set by the federal government.

    Instead, we have legislation that largely maintains the status quo and sets us on a race to the bottom when it comes to protecting the health and safety of New Brunswickers and taking advantage of the economic opportunities that come with ambitious climate action.

    There are some good things in the bill: it requires the Minister to report on how the money in the Climate Change Fund is spent every year; it requires the government to report annually on the progress of its Climate Change Action Plan; and it enshrines in law the government’s carbon pollution reduction targets.”

    -30-
    Recommended Links: To arrange an interview, contact:Jon MacNeill, Communications Director, 238-3539 (m) | 458-8747 (w) | jon.macneill@conservationcouncil.ca
  • CCNB

    Media Advisory

    Leading Canadian environmental organizations to outline expectations for Friday’s first ministers meeting on clean growth and climate change

    December 7, 2016 (Ottawa, ON) — Erin Flanagan (Pembina Institute), Steven Guilbeault (Équiterre), Catherine Abreu (CAN-Rac), Dale Marshall (Environmental Defence) and Dr. Louise Comeau (CCNB) will host an online media briefing to outline expectations for Friday’s first ministers' meeting on climate change and will respond to questions.

    Event: Media briefing and Q&A
    Date: Wednesday, December 7th 2016
    Time: 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. (EST)
    Location: via GoToMeeting webinar
    RSVP at: Media Briefing Q&A registration

    Context: For the first time ever, Canadian political leaders are negotiating a pan-Canadian climate plan to meet or exceed the country’s 2030 emissions reduction target. This webinar will outline trends in Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions in light of recent announcements and will discuss the extent to which governments have made policy commitments commensurate with reducing national emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030.

    -30-
    Media inquiries:

    Erin Flanagan (English / français)
    Program Director, Federal Policy, Pembina Institute
    587-581-1701

    Kelly O’Connor
    Communications Lead, Pembina Institute
    416-220-8804

    Louise Comeau
    Director of Climate Change and Energy Solutions, CCNB
    506-238-0355
  • KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – The Council of Canadians and its four New Brunswick chapters are calling on the Gallant government to recognize it has no choice but to extend the fracking moratorium, after the report it commissioned demonstrated that its five conditions for lifting the moratorium have not been met.

    “Based on the Commission’s report, the government of New Brunswick must commit to a legislated moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in the province. All five conditions, including social licence, have not been met and will require a lot of work,” says Denise Melanson, Council of Canadians’ Kent County chapter media spokesperson. “To give the people of this province some peace of mind and some security, the government should close the book on this industry.”

    “We stand with our Indigenous allies including Ron Tremblay, Grand Chief of the Wolastoq Grand Council. This report clearly recognizes the constitutional duty to consult Indigenous peoples, highlighting a critical reason a legislated moratorium is needed,” says Maggie Connell, co-chair of the Council of Canadians’ Fredericton chapter.

    Angela Giles, the Council’s Atlantic Regional Organizer based in Halifax, added “The Commission report highlights the need for a transition to clean energy for New Brunswick’s future energy mix. Given the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, shale gas cannot be part of the future. We need to focus on real solutions to the climate crisis in New Brunswick and beyond.”

    Representatives from the Council of Canadians’ Fredericton and Kent County chapters attended the private briefing as well as the public release of the Commission’s report this morning in Fredericton.

    -30-

    The report is available on the NB Commission on Hydraulic Fracturing website.
  • MONCTON, NEW BRUNSWICK – Wednesday, October 14, 2015 – The UNESCO-designated Fundy Biosphere Reserve (FBR) is celebrating National Science and Technology Week (October 16-25,  2015) with a new classroom resource that will facilitate climate change education and foster environmental awareness and scientific literacy among students.

    “Students in New Brunswick classrooms tend to learn about complex or major scientific events in the context of the United States or in the tropical rainforests of Brazil,” says FBR Executive Director, Megan de Graaf. “The Fundy Biosphere Reserve wants to change that. And one of the most pressing issues right in our own backyard is climate change.”

    Climate Change in Atlantic Canada is an impressive multimedia project showcasing thought-provoking interviews with experts and locals who have decades of first-hand experience with the local climate, such as beekeepers, farmers, snowplow drivers, fishers, gardeners, and First Nations elders.

    In 2011, with funding from the NB Environmental Trust Fund, FBR Conservation Program Manager Ben Phillips began to interview local climate knowledge-holders. The project also included some climate data analysis to explain local trends in our weather, such as temperature highs and lows, snow fall and melt dates, number of drought days, and rain event amounts and duration. The project rapidly evolved into an exciting collaboration between the Fundy Biosphere Reserve and Dr. Ian Mauro (previously the Canada Research Chair in Human Dimensions of Environmental Change at Mount Allison University, now Associate Professor in the Department of Geography at the University of Winnipeg). Working with Mauro’s team, a year’s worth of video footage was carefully assembled into short documentary films, which aim to increase awareness about the real world experiences of Atlantic Canadian coastal communities, and how they are on the front lines of climate change and responding to it.

    The Fundy Biosphere Reserve then researched and developed lesson plans to go along with each video in the series, so that the videos could be used as a teaching tool in middle and high school classrooms.

    De Graaf explains: “We worked with specialists in pedagogy to see where within the New Brunswick curricula our materials were best suited and how we could effectively deliver them. The result has been engaging lesson plans and materials for teachers to use with very little preparation needed. We’re now ready to disseminate the materials as widely as possible throughout schools in New Brunswick - as well as throughout the Atlantic provinces.”

    Teachers can access the Climate Change in Atlantic Canada videos and classroom lesson plans - at no cost - by visiting www.climatechangeatlantic.com. The materials are available under the "Education" tab (password: climateeducation). Schools can also request a free presentation and training session for their teachers by Fundy Biosphere staff on how to use the education materials in their classrooms by contacting FBR Executive Director Megan de Graaf atinfo@fundy-biosphere.ca. More information on the project is also available on the Fundy Biosphere Reserve’s website at fundy-biosphere.ca/en/projects-and-initiatives/education.html.the most pressing issues right in our own backyard is climate change.”

    Climate Change in Atlantic Canada is an impressive multimedia project showcasing thought-provoking interviews with experts and locals who have decades of first-hand experience with the local climate, such as beekeepers, farmers, snowplow drivers, fishers, gardeners, and First Nations elders.


  • ‪Online Petition: Give Energy East a People's Intervention‬ - Follow the link and share it widely
    http://act.350.org/letter/energy_east/

    Stephen Harper and Big Oil have gutted Canada’s environmental review process -- cutting people's voices and climate change out of the National Energy Board review of the largest tar sands pipeline ever proposed.

    Harper and Big Oil know they can only build this pipeline if they ignore the facts and ignore the people. It's time for a People's Intervention... Read more
  • Ecotour 2 1

    Have you wondered what you can do to lessen your home’s carbon footprint? Would you like to learn more about the options available to you and the practical steps you can take to make a real difference? Here is your chance to see what homeowners in your community are doing to live sustainably.

    Get inspired and find out what innovative homeowners are doing in your neighborhood by signing up to participate in our Passport to a Low Carbon Future EcoHome Tour scheduled for June 9 in southwestern New Brunswick. 

    Organized by dedicated volunteers from the Conservation Council of New Brunswick and the Saint John chapter of the Council of Canadians, the tour will shine a spotlight on low-carbon homes and public buildings in Bocabec, Letete, Saint John, Quispamsis and the Kingston Peninsula.  Click here to register.


    TIME & LOCATION : ST. ANDREWS : 9:00 AM– 1:00 PM / SAINT JOHN : 12:00 PM– 5:00 PM



    Visit an off-grid artist’s cabin in the woods; a home with rammed earth construction, solar and wind power, green roof, and a permaculture garden; a timber frame, passive solar, straw wall, earth berm home with sod roof; a LEED Gold Certified building, an innovative recreational complex, an 18 room inn using solar energy for hot water heating, the First Certified CHBA Net Zero Home in New Brunswick; an off-grid hobby farm; an off-grid boatbuilding workshop and more.

    The home owners and business people on the tour will be there to answer your questions about how they went about reducing their carbon footprint and the challenges they encountered along the way.

    UPDATE: We will be sending out an e-brochure with descriptions and directions to the EcoHomes to everyone who has registered sometime in the third week of May.

    After the tour, we invite you to join us for a chance to meet and greet and share information and light refreshments starting at 5 p.m. at the fabulous Elmhurst Outdoors at 65 Ganong Road on the Kingston Peninsula.
  • JIM EMBERGER   COMMENTARY
    Telegraph Journal  June 14, 2018

    Last winter the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance asked the provincial party leaders for their views on energy, climate change and the fracking moratorium. Each party, except the Progressive Conservatives, responded.

    Additional requests to PC leader Blaine Higgs for evidence to justify his plans to lift the moratorium, and to explain the process for lifting it, have gone unanswered.

    Fortunately, Mr. Higgs was the first speaker in the Fredericton Chamber of Commerce’s series featuring party leaders last week, so I went there seeking some answers.

    I began my question by noting that all of the other Maritime provinces, states like New York, and many European nations had passed moratoriums after conducting in-depth expert examinations.

    Additionally, over a thousand scientific studies and investigations have now validated fracking’s threats of water contamination, air pollution, earthquakes and especially threats to public health, including serious harm to infants and children.

    I asked if he had evidence to contradict these scientific studies, and by what process would he publicly explain why we should lift our moratorium and accept serious risks?

    Echoing stale talking points from eight years ago, he first responded by saying that for every study saying fracking is bad, there is another study that says the opposite.

    This is simply, and provably, false.

    Ask yourself, if there were a thousand studies saying fracking posed no threat to public health, the environment or clean water, wouldn’t we have heard about them by now, with heavy promotion from the gas industry?

    Mr. Higgs then predictably moved to the classic misleading statement that there are many places that have been fracking“safely and responsibly”for 50 years.

    Anyone familiar with this topic knows that what we now call fracking is only roughly 15 years old. In the last few years, there has been a drastic increase in the amounts of water, sand, toxic chemicals and wastewater it involves.

    As for fracking“safely and responsibly,” what do those words mean when applied to those jurisdictions that unquestioningly welcomed fracking?

    The British Columbia Oil and Gas Commission identified significant methane leaks from hundreds of gas wells, but withheld that information from politicians and citizens for four years.

    The B.C. government didn’t tell the public that frackers had built 92 illegal and uninspected dams to sequester water, threatening people living downstream and local ecosystems.

    So many sizeable earthquakes have been caused by fracking in B.C. that fracking can’t be done within five km of critical infrastructure.

    For 12 years, Pennsylvania regulatory officials hid 9,442 Citizen-Reported Fracking Complaints, 44 per cent of which concerned water contamination.

    Canada’s tens of thousands of abandoned gas and oil wells will eventually reach hundreds of thousands. Natural Resources Canada describes methane leakage from abandoned wells as risking “irreversible contamination of freshwater aquifers, accumulation of explosive gases within and around residences... and contribution to greenhouse gases.” 

    The former chief environmental scientist with the Alberta energy regulator stated, “The expertise to assess the health risk of abandoned wells really doesn’t exist in-house.”

    A life-threatening gas, hydrogen sulphide (H2S), often accompanies shale gas. A Saskatchewan investigation into incidents involving releases of H2S found “repeated and continuing serious infractions, a string of failed safety audits, and H2S readings that exceeded air quality standards on a daily basis.”

    These few examples illustrate that neither the government nor the industry has operated in a safe or responsible manner, even in these “best regulated”jurisdictions.

    As to the process for lifting the moratorium, Mr. Higgs offered to“talk”to municipalities that want shale gas.

    His earlier, opening remarks reflected his concern that the recent flood damage was becoming the “new normal.”

    Using this reference to climate change, we noted that New Brunswick and the world have experienced increasing numbers of very costly natural disasters, for which climate change is at least partially responsible.

    Natural gas, once considered a way to transition from other fossil fuels, is now known as one of the largest and fastest growing sources of greenhouse gases, due to methane leaking from gas infrastructure. Some analyses consider it worse than coal.

    “How then,” we asked, “does opening a new shale gas industry fit into plans to fight climate change?”

    After spending a great deal of time discussing the unrelated issue of carbon taxes, Mr. Higgs said there is a risk in everything, and that we have to strike a balance.

    Like editorial writers who worry about climate change damage, but then call for fossil-fuel projects, Mr. Higgs must believe we can bargain with the laws of physics to allow us to burn more fossil fuels, yet somehow not contribute to climate change.

    Alas, we still don’t know whether the PC’s actually have any cogent energy or climate policies, or even good reasons for lifting the fracking moratorium. They seem unaware of scientific risk analyses.

    That’s a problem for a party running on a platform of “responsible leadership.” Responsible leaders should not be so out of touch with the great issues of our time.

    Jim Emberger
    is a spokesperson for the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance.
  • The UNESCO-designated Fundy Biosphere Reserve (FBR) has released the long awaited results of research into climate change-resilient tree species in southern New Brunswick.

    The FBR recently completed an analysis of which native tree species has the most chance to prosper under changing climatic conditions over the next 100 years, as well as those that will most probably merely persevere, and which could even decline. Northern trees species like spruces, fir, birches, and poplars will likely face more insects, disease, extreme weather, and competition, which would lead to slower growth and higher mortality. By contrast, southern species such as maples, oak, pines, beech, hemlock, and cherry should have a longer growing season and thus, faster growth. 

    The FBR has created a pamphlet that describes the eight ‘winners’ for the changing climate.  It describes the trees and their preferred growing conditions, so that woodlot owners, foresters, municipalities, and the general public are armed with the right information about what to plant and where

    As the climate changes and less-resilient species begin to decline and disappear, the Acadian Forest composition in southern New Brunswick (as well as throughout the Maritimes) will also change. This means that the forest as we know it today will later contain fewer of those northern species, and probably more of these “winners”. But the forest will need help from residents of the region, notably in planting these resilient species.

    By planning ahead for climate change and planting tree species that have a better chance to thrive, we can help ensure that there will be healthy and beautiful trees in our neighborhoods and parks as well as in the forest, to be enjoyed by generations to come. An informative brochure has thus been developed to help 

    The other component of this research is related to forest corridors. As climate change and deforestation affect the forest, wildlife can become cut-off.  The FBR is working with other organizations to try and establish forest corridors based on areas with climate change resilient trees, helping plants and animals move freely around the FBR or to and from Nova Scotia.

    More information on this project, including a detailed research report and maps showing current and projected forest composition within the Fundy Biosphere Reserve, is available at http://www.fundy-biosphere.ca/en/home/forests-of-the-future.html.
     
     
  • It has already been 20 years since the United Nation Conference on Environment and Development of 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, The Earth Summit. During the Earth Summit, many principles had been adopted

    As the tradition wants it, it’s now time to reopen the discussions between industrialized and developing countries, so together, they can look forward for the next 20 years to safeguard the Earth and the human race. The theme for 2012 is sustainable development

    Secretary-general of the United Nations Ban ki-Moon thinks it is crucial that the different countries’ leaders agree on a plan for the future. He knows Rio+20 won’t solve all the problems, but he thinks that if we "do not take firm actions, we may be heading towards the end – the end of our future". The United Nations up a list of seven critical issues that will be discussed in the Conference: jobs, energy, cities, food, water, oceans, and disasters.

    Meanwhile, the Canadian government is trying to prevent the other conference members from agreeing to end fossil fuel subsidies, even though it could save the country millions of dollars. 

     

    Here is a very interesting video by theUnited Nations Development Program for the Rio+20 sustainable developments.  

 © 2018 NBEN / RENB