The New Brunswick provincial government on Dec. 7 unveiled a new action plan, “Transitioning to a Low-carbon Economy,” that includes a phase-out of coal-fired power, which is in line with a recent climate change plan announced by the Canadian federal government.
“Climate change is the most important issue to face humankind in modern times,” said New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant. “New Brunswick must do its part to combat it. This plan will help us combat climate change in a way that respects New Brunswick’s economy, challenges and opportunities.”
Highlights of the plan include:
- providing the government leadership needed through more than 100 clear action items to support sustained and ambitious actions on combating climate change;
- expanding energy efficiency and clean energy programs across all sectors and all fuels with ambitious performance targets;
- phasing out coal as a source of electricity, respecting New Brunswick’s economic reality and considering potential financial support from the federal government;
- planning for and investing in new technologies that reduce pollution, such as smart grid and renewable electricity;
- establishing a made-in-New Brunswick price on carbon and caps on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that reflect the reality of the New Brunswick economy;
- leading by example by making the provincial government carbon-neutral by 2030 and increasing spending on energy efficiency in the next capital budget by 50%; and
- measuring and reporting progress with strong oversight by committees of cabinet and the legislative assembly.
The report, “Transitioning to a Low-carbon Economy,” was based on recommendations from the select committee on climate change. It provides a list of actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while promoting economic growth and increasing the province’s resilience to climate change through adaptation. The premier will present the plan to federal, provincial and territorial counterparts during the first ministers’ meeting on Dec. 9 in Ottawa, where they will work to finalize the Pan-Canadian Framework on Climate Change.