May 6, 2009
SAINT JOHN (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.
"This project is consistent with the commitment made in the New Brunswick Climate Change Action Plan to develop a public transportation strategy to ensure that both urban and rural New Brunswickers have convenient alternatives to their private vehicles," said Haché. "Since the transportation sector accounts for 25 per cent of New Brunswick's greenhouse-gas emissions, improving public transportation options will contribute to significant reductions in those 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."
The Department of Environment is providing the Saint John Transit Commission's Commuter Express with $400,000 to develop three new park-and-ride lots in the city to support three new bus routes. The project will facilitate public transit options for both urban and rural residents. It is anticipated that the expanded service will reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 297 tonnes annually.
"This is a positive investment that supports active transportation," said Transportation Minister Denis Landry. "As part of our multi-modal transportation strategy, this government is committed to expanding the ridership capacity for transit services. This is certainly a step in that direction."
The total cost of the project is $1,842,592.
"The Saint John Transit Commission is committed to facilitating public transit options for urban and rural residents of the Saint John area," said Christopher Titus, chair of the transit and parking commissions. "By creating these new park-and-ride lots to support three new bus routes, greenhouse-gas emissions will be reduced significantly, which will contribute to a greener Saint John and a more sustainable environment for New Brunswick."
Established from New Brunswick's portion of the federal government's Canada Eco-Trust for Clean Air and Climate Change, the $34-million New Brunswick Climate Action Fund is used to support projects that are in keeping with the goals of the New Brunswick 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 New Brunswick Climate Action Fund is a financial resource that serves to promote the sustainability of the environment in our province," said Haché. "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 New Brunswick Climate Change Action Plan in June 2007. As a result of 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 New Brunswick Climate Change Action Plan may be found online.
MEDIA CONTACT: Jennifer Graham, public affairs, Department of Environment, 506-453-3700.