June 5, 2009
FREDERICTON (CNB) - Greenhouse gas emissions in New Brunswick were reduced by more than 16 tonnes as a result of the Mayors' Eco-Challenge 2009. Minister of Environment Roland Haché made the announcement today.
"The Mayor's Eco-Challenge 2009 was a success, and I am very proud to have taken part in this challenge that helped reduce the effects of climate change in our province," Haché said. "The mayors involved have shown great dedication, and they are to be commended for the substantial actions they undertook in increasing energy efficiency, reducing vehicle fuel use, reducing waste, and retrofitting their homes, all of which contributed to a reduction of 16.6 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions."
The challenge, launched in March, was a partnership involving the New Brunswick Lung Association (New Brunswick Climate Change Hub), the Cities of New Brunswick Association, Efficiency New Brunswick, and the Department of Environment. There were two goals: to draw attention to the importance of climate change awareness; and to encourage action among municipal leaderships.
Three months ago, the minister and mayors from Fredericton, Saint John, Moncton, Bathurst and Campbellton chose from a range of commitments and actions to reduce their personal carbon footprint. The mayors were allowed to get help from a family, friend or colleague. Some of the commitments they made included:
Participants tracked their actions through a combination of methods, including logs and database entries. Information was posted on the New Brunswick Climate Change Hub's website.
"The success of this challenge is proof that when individuals have the desire to make a difference, they can," Haché said. "Although we were a small group, we produced big results and made New Brunswick a greener place to be. I encourage all New Brunswickers to look at their daily lives to see what changes they can make to reduce their carbon emissions because a healthy environment will be an important cornerstone to achieving a self-sufficient New Brunswick by 2026."
The provincial government launched the five-year New Brunswick Climate Change Action Plan in June 2007. As a result, greenhouse-gas emissions will be reduced in the province by 5.5 megatonnes annually by 2012. With the addition of federal initiatives, the plan will result in a reduction of New Brunswick's greenhouse-gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2012. The achievement of these reductions will position New Brunswick to realize further reductions of 10 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020.
MEDIA CONTACT: Jennifer Graham, public affairs, Department of Environment, 506-453-3700.