• 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
  • 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.”

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