Legislation misses mark on protecting families and communities from worst of climate change impacts in N.B.

FREDERICTON — Lois Corbett, Executive Director, issued the following statement regarding today’s announcement about climate change legislation. She is available for comment.

“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. It is not clear, however, that 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.

There are no new incentives, financial or otherwise, to innovate, reduce pollution or change behaviours. By toeing the status quo, the government has missed its goal of helping N.B. transition to a low-carbon economy and create jobs.

It is an uninspiring follow-up to last December’s climate change action plan, which was a smart road map for climate action and job creation that was among the best in the country. And I sorely doubt it will meet the bar set by the federal government.

Instead, 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.

There are some good things in the bill: it requires the Minister to report on how the money in the Climate Change Fund is spent every year; it requires the government to report annually on the progress of its Climate Change Action Plan; and it enshrines in law the government’s carbon pollution reduction targets.”

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To arrange an interview, contact:

Jon MacNeill, Communications Director, 238-3539 (m) | 458-8747 (w) | jon.macneill@conservationcouncil.ca