The Conservation Council’s Director of Climate Change and Energy Solutions, Dr. Louise Comeau, told reporters that investments in unproven small modular nuclear reactor research would be better spent helping New Brunswickers lower their carbon pollution footprint and adapt to climate change in their homes and businesses today.
Following the latest round of investments from federal and provincial governments in SMR research, now totalling $56 million in New Brunswick, Comeau championed an alternate vision of energy solutions, one that would see the money go to New Brunswickers in the form of green-energy retrofits for business and homes, rebates in electrical vehicles (EVs) and incentives for homeowners looking to weather-proof their homes against climate change.
“For the money announced to date, New Brunswick could provide $3,000 rebates to get more than 28,000 electric vehicles on the road and $5000 rebates to retrofit more than 17,000 homes,” Dr. Comeau told the New Brunswick Telegraph-Journal on March 18.
“It’s distracting from investments we need to make today,” she told CTV News Atlantic.
Comeau also took aim at the way carbon tax revenue is slated to be spent in New Brunswick, noting that the Higgs Government recently announced it would use some of the funds for SMR research.
“New Brunswick and NB Power appear to believe we can delay emissions reductions well into the future and rely on speculative technology to do so. Neither are accurate assessments from either a political or scientific point of view,” she said.
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