FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government released its renewed climate change action plan today, which will help the province adapt to climate change while steering New Brunswick toward a greener future.

Our Pathway Towards Decarbonization and Climate Resilience features three pillars: government leadership and accountability, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and preparing for climate change.

“While we have accomplished a lot with our previous climate change plans, it is clear we need to do more,” said Environment and Climate Change Minister Gary Crossman. “We are already experiencing the effects of climate change and we need to act now.”

The province has led the country in reducing emissions since 2005, lowering emissions by 37 per cent. The government has committed to reaching 46 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

“The Conservation Council of New Brunswick welcomes the increased accountability of this climate action plan update, including measurable targets and timelines,” said Louise Comeau, director of the council’s climate change and energy solutions program. “We look forward to contributing to its successful implementation for the benefit of all New Brunswickers.”

Through the renewed action plan, the province is positioning itself to attract clean investments, create good jobs and opportunities for businesses that take advantage of new technology, and market New Brunswick as a green hub through decarbonization, said Crossman. The government has committed to reaching net zero – removing as much carbon from the atmosphere as is emitted – by 2050.

The move towards net zero by 2050, and the pathway towards clean energy, will pose significant challenges for the province to meet its energy needs. Crossman said the province will continue to require the support of the federal government to achieve the climate objectives.

Over the next two years, the government is committed to delivering on 14 of the 30 actions in the plan. These will include:

  • Supporting the transition to zero-emission freight by implementing an incentive program and completing a zero-emission freight strategy.
  • Setting clear electricity efficiency performance targets and reporting requirements for NB Power.
  • Ensuring New Brunswickers have equitable access to energy efficiency programs through long-term financing and/or payment options.
  • Supporting regional service commissions in developing and implementing regional transportation plans.
  • Developing a performance standard to ensure landfill gas management systems are meeting requirements related to increased methane capture and reduced emissions.
  • Maintaining biodiversity by publishing a list of climate-sensitive species and setting a new target for protected areas.

The remaining 16 actions, such as assessing the carbon stock of forests and wetlands and training tradespeople in skills related to energy-efficient buildings, will take longer than two years to complete.

The Climate Change Act requires that New Brunswick’s Climate Change Action Plan be reviewed every five years.