FREDERICTON (GNB) – The Environmental Trust Fund is helping people around the province make changes in their lives to address climate change.

The fund is investing about $2.5 million into more than 60 projects that focus on climate change. The funding is part of an overall investment of about $8.4 million for more than 230 environmental projects in 2019-20.

“Through our Environmental Trust Fund, many projects are getting financial support to address and mitigate the effects of climate change,” said Environment and Local Government Minister Jeff Carr.

Projects include examining how rivers and lakes are affected by a warmer climate, studying coastal erosion, and developing adaptation plans for communities. Dozens of municipalities have already completed their climate change adaptation plans.

“We have had two major floods in the past two years, and it is clear the preparation we do now will help us deal with future climate-related events,” said Carr.

The Gaia Project is carrying out one of the initiatives funded by the trust fund. It was awarded $100,000 to develop a climate change education plan for francophone and anglophone schools, and to engage youth in thinking critically about sustainability in support of energy reduction.

“The funding we received from the Environmental Trust Fund is helping the Gaia Project unlock the hidden potential of teachers and students in the fight against climate change across all seven school districts in New Brunswick,” said Lizzy Gresh, the organization’s executive director. “We can work directly with more than 700 students on semester-long climate action projects that decrease greenhouse gas-emitting activities, such as reducing waste to landfills.”

The provincial government endorsed New Brunswick’s Climate Change Action Plan on Dec. 5 and several actions are already underway. More information about the plan is available online.

The Environmental Trust Fund was established by the Environmental Trust Fund Act. Contributions are generated from the Beverage Containers Program.

More information, including the list of approved projects and initiatives, is available on the Department of Environment and Local Government’s website.