Environment / Office of the Premier

Province launches five-year Climate Change Action Plan (07/06/08)

NB 733

June 8, 2007

FREDERICTON (CNB) - The Province has launched an ambitious plan to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and to begin to address all aspects of climate change in New Brunswick over the next five years.

Premier Shawn Graham and Environment Minister Roland Haché today released the New Brunswick Climate Change Action Plan 2007-2012

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.The New Brunswick Climate Change Action Plan will result in a reduction of New Brunswick's greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels in 2012. The plan positions the province to realize further reductions of 10 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020. The New Brunswick-led initiatives outlined in the plan are expected to result in greenhouse gas emissions reductions of 5.5 megatonnes annually in 2012. Further emission reductions are expected through proposed federal government initiatives which are currently under discussion.

"This is a plan made in New Brunswick, for New Brunswick," Graham said. "It will enable our province not only to strike a workable balance between economic development and environmental protection, but also to do its part in regional, national and international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. New industrial development in New Brunswick will include the most effective and innovative environmental technologies."

Haché said the plan will play an important role in ensuring long-term environmental sustainability in New Brunswick.

"It is an ambitious agenda which positions New Brunswick to prepare for the impacts of climate change, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and engage New Brunswickers to take action," Haché said. "This made-in-New Brunswick plan has been developed with a view to securing the sustainability of our communities in a changing climate."

Graham said the environmental protection actions in the plan will also play a key role in efforts to achieve self-sufficiency for New Brunswick by 2026.

"As a result of the environmental and socio-economic benefits that the Climate Change Action Plan will deliver to New Brunswickers, our province will be an even more attractive place for people to live and earn a living, and for companies to do business," Graham said. "In so doing, it will help our province to be sustainable and move forward even faster on the road to self sufficiency."

The New Brunswick Climate Change Action Plan focuses on:

· actions to reduce or prevent greenhouse gas emissions;

· adaptation strategies to address the economic, social and environmental effects of the province's changing climate; and

· engagement with communities and individuals to realize adaptation and GHG-reduction efforts.

The plan includes actions in the following areas: Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency; Transportation; Waste Reduction and Diversion; Industrial Sources; Government Leading by Example; Adaptation; and Implementation and Accountability.

Measures to reduce current greenhouse gas emissions and manage future emissions in New Brunswick include:

· Providing practical solutions to help New Brunswickers use energy more efficiently, make better energy choices, and manage energy expenses;

· Significantly increasing the percentage of GHG-free electricity generation;

· Developing a provincial public transportation strategy that significantly reduces GHG emissions from this sector; and

· Undertaking environmentally focused research and development that will assist New Brunswick industries in the development of climate-friendly technologies and approaches.

Measures to adapt to the effects of climate change on the province include:

· Undertaking a provincial risk assessment to identify both the public and private sector's existing and future development risks and adaptation needs, with particular focus on coastal areas and inland waters of the province; and

· Climate-proofing development decisions at all levels of government through the use of an enhanced provincial planning policy and related strategies, with special emphasis on coastal regions.

The plan also includes measures to form and strengthen partnerships, as well as to raise awareness among the public and all stakeholders about the need to adapt to climate change. These measures include:

· Providing opportunities for communities to become partners by sharing ideas, experiences and practices;

· Working with communities to construct new, and adapt existing, infrastructure in such a manner that it minimizes greenhouse gas emissions and is designed to function in a changing climate; and

· Working with the federal government, other agencies, industry, environmental organizations and communities to better understand the climatic changes that are taking place and provide outreach and educational opportunities.

"Climate change and its impact on New Brunswick are challenges that won't be overcome in the short term. Meeting these challenges will be an ongoing task for our province, and so further targets and adaptive strategies will be necessary beyond 2012," Haché said. "The New Brunswick Climate Change Action Plan is just the first step in this undertaking, but it is a bold and decisive step that will deliver results for all New Brunswickers and future generations."

A full version of the New Brunswick Climate Change Action Plan 2007-2012 is available on the Department of Environment website.

07/06/08

MEDIA CONTACTS: Marie-Andrée Bolduc, communications, Office of the Premier, 506-444-2286; Michael Wesson, communications, Environment, 506-453-3700.

07/06/08