Climate action fund supporting environmentally friendly project (09/05/05)

NB 612

May 5, 2009

MIRAMICHI (CNB) - Greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced in the province as the result of a new project being supported by the New Brunswick Climate Action Fund, Environment Minister Roland Haché announced today.

The Department of Environment is providing St. Michael's Basilica in Miramichi with $93,250 to design and install a state-of-the-art, commercial grade, solar hot water heating system with heat storage capacity to reduce the building's use of electric heat.

"We made the commitment in the New Brunswick Climate Change Action Plan to foster the development of a range of renewable energy generation opportunities from sources such as biomass, solar, wind and tides," Haché said. "Electricity generation accounts for almost 40 per cent of New Brunswick's greenhouse gas emissions.

"Using solar hot water heating systems may significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Investments such as this will ensure that New Brunswick continues to be a promoter of environmental sustainability, which we must achieve to remain positioned to be self-sufficient by 2026."

It is anticipated that this project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 531 tonnes annually. The total cost of the project is $397,500.

"I am pleased to see this new heating system being installed here in Miramichi," said Energy Minister Jack Keir. "Renewable energy is an important aspect of our growing New Brunswick energy hub. I am happy that the climate action fund could support this important project, which promotes energy efficiency and reduces greenhouse gas emissions."

Father John Fraser said, "Environmental sustainability is a priority here at St. Michael's, and I am very pleased that the climate action fund was able to fund our project to make the basilica more energy efficient."

Established from New Brunswick's portion of the federal government's Canada Eco-Trust for Clean Air and Climate Change, the $34-million climate action fund supports projects in keeping with the climate change action plan.

The three-year fund is dedicated to public-sector, private-sector and not-for-profit initiatives that will result in reductions or avoidance of greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution throughout the province.

"The climate action fund is a financial resource that serves to promote the sustainability of the environment in our province," Haché said. "I commend all those in the public and private sectors who have come forward to work with government by proposing projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in New Brunswick during this third and final round of funding."

The province launched the five-year climate change action plan in June 2007. As a result of the New Brunswick-led initiatives in the plan, greenhouse gas emissions will be reduced in the province by 5.5 megatonnes annually in 2012.

With the addition of federal initiatives, the plan will result in a reduction of New Brunswick's greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels in 2012. The achievement of these reductions will position New Brunswick to realize further reductions of 10 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020.

More information on the climate action fund is available at http://www.gnb.ca/0009/0369/0016/0001-e.asp.


MEDIA CONTACT: Jennifer Graham, public affairs, Department of Environment, 506-453-3700.