FREDERICTON (GNB) – A new action plan, Transitioning to a Low-carbon Economy, has been released as part of a made-in-New Brunswick response to climate change.

“Climate change is the most important issue to face humankind in modern times,” said 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 GHG emissions that reflect the reality of the New Brunswick economy;
  • leading by example by making government carbon-neutral by 2030 and increasing spending on energy efficiency in the next capital budget by 50 per cent; and
  • measuring and reporting progress with strong oversight by committees of cabinet and the legislative assembly.

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.

“The effects of climate change in our country and our province are already evident,” said Environment and Local Government Minister Serge Rousselle. “It has become increasingly clear that the cost of inaction is greater than the cost of action, particularly early action. New Brunswick must, and will, rise to the challenge. This plan represents a large step forward in our efforts to combat the growing threat of climate change. It is ambitious but necessary, and the time for action is now.”

Transitioning to a Low-carbon Economy is available online.