“No, we can’t”: Comeau pans government proposal to burn coal into 2040s

Our Director of Climate and Energy Solutions told reporters this week that the New Brunswick government needs to get serious about protecting citizens’ health and safety from the threats of climate change—and that means saying ‘no’ to coal.

“This idea that we can actually keep burning fossil fuel is one that we actually just have to come to grips with and understand the reality of: no we can’t,” Louise Comeau told CBC New Brunswick on July 14.

Comeau spoke to reporters about the Conservation Council’s feedback submission on the provincial government’s proposal to continue burning coal at the Belledune Generating Station into the 2040s.

The province is seeking an equivalency agreement with Ottawa to allow it to produce coal-fired electricity beyond the federal government’s mandated 2030 phase-out.

The Conservation Council also sent a letter to the federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, Jonathan Wilkinson, asking him to reject New Brunswick’s proposal.

Our call for an end to coal in N.B. has the public will behind it. In a June 2021 survey we conducted on electricity issues, 70 per cent of New Brunswickers said they want the province to close coal plants and replace the electricity with renewable energy such as solar and wind generated in our province.

The letter to Wilkinson said an equivalency agreement runs counter to the spirit of Canada’s promotion of coal phase-out in its work with the Powering Past Coal Alliance and undermines Canada’s credibility as the world prepares for critical climate negotiations at the 26th Conference of the Parties meeting in Glasgow this November.

Read our press release about the issue here. Read our submission to New Brunswick’s Minister of Environment, Gary Crossman, here. Read our letter to Minister Wilkinson here.

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