With no new incentives, financial or otherwise, to control carbon pollution or change behaviours, New Brunswick’s newly-released climate plan misses the opportunity to create jobs and build a transition to a low-carbon economy, the Conservation Council of New Brunswick (CCNB) stated in a release late last week.
“I’m pleased the province has followed the Conservation Council’s advice, and that of the Auditor General, by enshrining climate change targets in law,” said CCNB Executive Director Lois Corbett. “It is not clear, however, that the climate fund the bill sets up will go far enough to protect the health and safety of New Brunswick families and communities already suffering from extreme ice storms, hurricanes, and flooding caused by climate change.”
Canadian Press reported the province was adopting federal targets that would require major emitters to reduce or offset their emissions beginning in 2018, and using fuel taxes to fill a Climate Change Fund estimated at C$37 million in its first year.
Corbett wasn’t satisfied.
She said last year’s Pan-Canadian Framework for Clean Growth and Climate Change put forward “a smart road map for climate action and job creation that was among the best in the country.” But when it was New Brunswick’s turn to step up, “we have legislation that largely maintains the status quo and sets us on a race to the bottom when it comes to protecting the health and safety of New Brunswickers and taking advantage of the economic opportunities that come with ambitious climate action.”
Patrick Derochie, climate and energy program manager at Toronto-based Environmental Defence, agreed that the plan made New Brunswick “the third province to put forward a plan to price carbon pollution that fails to meet the bar set by the federal government. The federal government now has to show some carbon pricing leadership. The weak climate plans put forth by New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba require federal government resolve to ensure Canada’s climate commitments are met.”