Traditional Land of Wabanaki People/Fredericton – The Conservation Council of New Brunswick and the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance issued the following joint statement in response to Premier Blaine Higgs’ speculation that shale gas and liquified natural gas are solutions to war-induced threats to European gas supply:
Premier Higgs’ talk of ripping up the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing and building an LNG export terminal in Saint John to “save our neighbours internationally” is shortsighted, unrealistic and fails to protect New Brunswickers’ health and safety from the increasing threats of climate change.
In a landmark 2021 report, the International Energy Agency (IEA) concluded that to reach net zero emissions by 2050 no new oil, gas or coal development is possible if the world is to avoid a global temperature increase of 1.5°C.
Europe and Canada are committed to zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The pathway to achieve that goal is renewable. Europe’s short-term concerns about gas supply do not warrant investments that cannot deliver for years to come. The future is renewable, and that is where Europe is headed, as is Canada.
“If New Brunswick wants to position our economy to meet future energy needs at home and globally, it should focus on investing in offshore wind, generating green hydrogen and renewable fuels, and electrifying our own energy system through renewables and energy efficiency,” says Louise Comeau, the Conservation Council’s Director of Climate and Energy Solutions.
“We need to stop looking backwards for solutions like fossil fuel exports and expensive and risky nuclear power.”
Jim Emberger, spokesperson for the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance, says the moratorium on hydraulic fracturing was the clearest and most effective climate action the province has ever taken.
”We must continue to observe it, or, like Quebec, go even further and ban all fossil fuel extraction,” Emberger says.
In the seven years since the moratorium decision, scientific study and experiences on the ground have shown that all the reasons to ban fracking have been proved valid, and even more compelling than we thought in 2014. This is particularly true of its effects on public health, climate change and water pollution.
In the latest edition of its Compendium of Scientific, Medical, and Media Findings Demonstrating Risks and Harms of Fracking, released April 2022, the Physicians for Social Responsibility wrote, “our examination uncovered no evidence that fracking can be practiced in a manner that does not threaten human health directly or without imperiling climate stability upon which human health depends.”
New Brunswick needs an electrification strategy comprised of:
- Updating energy policy to focus on renewable energy such wind and solar over small modular nuclear generation, in line with studies showing renewables are the most cost-effective way to reduce emissions and meet energy demands;
- Amending the Electricity Act to allow a mix of public, private and community-owned power generation;
- A new target of 80 per cent renewable energy in New Brunswick by 2030; and,
- Exploring options for regional integrated resource planning, i.e. creation of the Atlantic Loop.
“Our best bet for creating jobs right now in New Brunswick is through energy efficiency and clean renewable power,” says Lois Corbett, Executive Director of the Conservation Council. “That’s the road we need to take, and it’s the road that doesn’t put our drinking water or communities’ health at risk.”
To arrange an interview, contact:
Jon MacNeill, Communications Director, Conservation Council of New Brunswick | firstname.lastname@example.org | 506-238-3539
Louise Comeau, Director, Climate Change and Energy Program, Conservation Council of New Brunswick | email@example.com | 506-238-0355.
Jim Emberger, Spokesperson for New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas | firstname.lastname@example.org | 506-367-2658.
Learn about the Conservation Council’s Atlantic Electricity Vision.