• CCNB logo HRAttention News Editors: Here is some background that may be helpful in reporting on Environment and Local Government Minister Serge Rousselle’s comments today about a carbon-pricing system for New Brunswick:
    • To date, Canadian jurisdictions that have announced or implemented a system for pricing carbon include Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, and, now, New Brunswick.
    • In June 2017, New Brunswick’s Auditor General delivered a substantive review of the province’s climate change plan, including recommendations to turn policy intentions into on-the-ground work to protect homes and communities from what she called “one of the greatest challenges for communities, governments and corporations in the coming decades.” Among other things, the review called for an aggressive timeline and full details on how the government plans to execute the 118 actions laid out in its Climate Change Action Plan.
    • New Brunswick’s Climate Change Action Plan, released in December 2016, contained all the elements for effective climate action in N.B., including commitments to Premier-led governance, target-driven policies, and sources of funding to support programs for low-income families, homeowners, and industry. It also included several measures called for by the Legislative Select Committee on Climate Change, including legislating carbon pollution reduction targets and energy-efficiency improvement targets, and phasing out coal from electricity production and phasing in more renewable energy like solar, wind, biomass and hydro.
    • One month after the climate change plan was released, New Brunswickers experienced a sobering example of climate change impacts at home with the January 2017 ice storm that led to two people dying from carbon monoxide poisoning and nearly 300,000 homes and businesses left without power, some for up to 13 days. NB Power estimates the damages to its infrastructure at $30-million, making it the most expensive restoration in the utility's history.
    • New Brunswickers are keenly aware that climate change is already happening in their communities in the forms of more extreme ice storms, hurricanes and flooding events. The Ice Storm Review 2017, released in August 2017, provided a snapshot of climate change-related extreme weather events in New Brunswick, including but not limited to:
      • Hurricane Arthur in July 2014, which brought torrential rains and 100-km/hour winds that caused road closures and washouts and significant infrastructure damages across the province. The total damages were estimated at $12.5 million.
      • A Nor-easter in December 2014 which impacted 56 roads with flooding or washouts across several regions, with impacts primarily concentrated in the Moncton region. Damages totalled $10.3 million.
      • Extreme flooding and storm surges in December 2010 which resulted in $13.8 million in damages from flooding in Charlotte and York Counties, and $3 million in damages associated with storm surges affecting the east and northeast coasts of the province.

    Jon MacNeill
    Communications DirectorConservation Council of New Brunswick/
    Conseil de conservation du Nouveau-Brunswick
    458-8747 | 238-3539
  • Free Videos and Lesson Plans About Climate Change in Atlantic Canada!

    (For use in middle and high school classrooms in New Brunswick.)

    Students learn about climate change from experts and locals with decades of first-hand experience (such as beekeepers, farmers, snowplow drivers, fishers, gardeners, and First Nations elders). 

    View the classroom materials here: http://www.fundy-biosphere.ca/en/projects-and-initiatives/education.html

    Schools can request a free presentation and training session for their teachers by Fundy Biosphere staff on how to use the education materials in their classrooms.

    Contact Megan de Graaf by email at info@fundy-biosphere.ca.

    Book your training session before March 31st 2016!

  • “Courts ‘Recognizing the Obvious on Climate”

    Telegraph Journal, Daily Gleaner, Times Transcript - March 11, 2019

    The New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance was an intervener in the recent Saskatchewan Court of Appeals reference case on the federal carbon pricing “backstop.”

    Those opposing carbon pricing portrayed the case as strictly a constitutional matter of jurisdiction, and chose not to discuss the issue of climate change. However, one of the first questions the Chief Justice asked Saskatchewan’s lawyer was: “If (climate change) literally imperils the future of the planet, should it be taken into account?” 

    There was little doubt why the Justice asked this question. The Court had received overwhelming evidence about climate change and its calamitous effects. 

    Our group submitted judicial decisions from courts around the world, based on the principle that increased greenhouse gases emissions from anywhere, no matter how small the amount, add to the global totals that threaten everyone. 

    Clearly the courts are now recognizing the obvious about climate change and the elemental part fossil fuels play in it. 

    Saskatchewan and its co-plaintiffs, realizing that being “deniers” is no longer politically acceptable, proclaim concern about climate change. But their claims ring hollow, as all these provinces have recently elected Progressive Conservative governments whose climate policies belie their words.

    Sadly, New Brunswick is a case in point. Its signature energy policies of a new shale gas industry and a resurrection of the Energy East bitumen pipeline contradict concern about climate change, despite official rhetoric to the contrary.

    The first necessity to slow climate change is to stop creating additional greenhouse-gas emissions from new fossil fuel sources. This is the very thing that carbon pricing is designed to deter.

    How could New Brunswick meet any greenhouse gas limits while starting a shale gas industry that would create huge volumes of emissions from leaking methane and from burning large quantities of diesel fuel and gasoline?

    Reviving Energy East is a fantasy few experts consider viable, not least because its approval would have to consider the climate effects of its upstream and downstream emissions. It didn’t face that requirement last time around, but would now.

    By misreading climate change considerations, and fossil fuel market forces, our government’s policies both suffered setbacks.

    After promising that Corridor Inc. had millions of dollars to immediately invest in local shale gas, the premier appeared to be blindsided when Corridor said it wouldn’t be drilling new wells until 2021, and only if it found a financial partner.

    This should not have been a surprise. The gas market is flooded. Shale gas has never been profitable for lenders and investors, who are now demanding long-delayed paybacks. The easy money spigot is closing, making it tougher to get financial backing.

    A recent Supreme Court decision, finding environmental clean-up obligations have precedence over repaying loans, has made banks warier about fossil fuel investments.

    Mr. Higgs has countered with the position that local shale gas could replace gas from Nova Scotia’s about-to-close Sable Island facility. However, gas suppliers, noting that a new local shale gas solution was years away, announced they would supply the Maritimes with western gas via the pipeline that was the centrepiece of Energy East. 

    With Energy East dead, and with no apparent market justification for local shale gas, Mr. Higgs now gives us a truly convoluted policy rationalization for both.

    He would have us believe a local shale gas industry (years in the making) would convince gas pipeline companies and western producers to give up their Maritime business, and once again go through the near-impossible task of Energy East approval.

    Besides needing dozens of things to go exactly right, the many years required would bring this plan to fruition at the very time when fossil fuels must be reduced by nearly half, and when carbon pricing would be at a maximum. It strains credulity.

    Readers should note these setbacks to the premier’s plans are not due to political opposition, or environmental activism, but rather to business decisions and market forces in the industry. 

    Climate change, by necessity, will be a major market force in reducing fossil fuels, while cheap renewable energy is another. 

    Energy planners and pundits should begin recognizing the obvious, as Alberta just did in contracting three new solar farms to provide 55 per cent of the government’s electricity, at nearly half the cost of natural gas.

    The U.S. Permian Basin, the heart of shale oil, produces so much accompanying gas they pay to get rid of it. Yet, plans for the industry’s electricity needs include a solar farm and the world’s largest battery.

    Despite many similar examples, Mr. Higgs maintains renewable energy is still too expensive, and continues dealing in the false hopes of fossil fuel riches. Both ideas are from a bygone era.

    The climate threat and market forces clearly indicate there is no future in a local shale gas industry. We, too, need to recognize the obvious.

    Jim Emberger is spokesperson for the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance, an organization intervened in the recent court challenge over carbon pricing in Saskatchewan.

  • CALL FOR NOMINATIONS

    Join the Executive Committee of the Sierra Club Canada Foundation - Atlantic Canada Chapter (SCCF-ACC)

    We are gathering people interested in serving on the Executive Committee of the Chapter (Executive Committee, Ex Com for short). These are the people who will lead our chapter and make decisions on everything from what campaigns we take on in our region to building capacity by growing our member and supporter base to where to hold our annual meeting. We need your help in finding the right people to lead our chapter.

    The Atlantic Canada Chapter has members in all four Atlantic provinces (Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick), the territories of Innus (Montagnais), Nunatsiavut, NunatuKavut, Wabanaki (Dawnland Confederacy), and Wolastokuk (Maliseet).

    Its activities include nature immersion and forest school programming (Wild Child), wildlife protection and collision prevention (Watch for Wildlife), stopping offshore oil and gas development in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and protecting marine life, reducing the impacts of mines and quarries on the environment and communities, and engaging in energy policy and solutions with the aim of addressing climate change.

    All members are invited to make a nomination of any member (including yourself) to be a candidate for positions on the Executive Committee of the SCCF-ACC. Nominations will be used by the nominations committee to put together a slate of candidates for this year.

    The term of office for these positions will be two years, and is limited to three consecutive two-year terms (i.e. 6 years). On a practical level, being an Ex Com member means taking part in at least 10 meetings per year. These are usually about once per month (most by conference call) to organize and run the activities of the SCC-ACC, including the Annual General Gathering.

    This may also involve taking on a position as an officer (Treasurer, Secretary) and/or chair of a committee, and there will be continuous opportunity to be active in various campaigns and projects.

    As described in our bylaws and Chapter Policy, the Executive Committee comprises the volunteer leadership of its Chapter, and acts as the decision-making body for the Chapters, and in accordance with overall policies of the Sierra Club Canada Foundation and cooperation with its Board of Directors and National Staff.

    Specifically, as outlined on our bylaws, the Ex Com is responsible for:

    a) compliance with the by-laws and policies of the Sierra Club Canada Foundation;

    b) engaging in any such activities within the territorial area which further the interests or objects of the Corporation, including the operation conservation or environmental programs, and media outreach;

    c) developing a budget and raising funds for its own operations, as needed, and contributing to annual fundraising efforts; and

    d) coordinating its activities through Staff, members and volunteers.

    Sunday, February 3rd, 2019 is the deadline for receipt of names for candidates to be considered by the Nominations Committee.

    Please send nominations to atlanticcanadachapter@sierraclub.ca or call Tony Reddin, co-chair of the Atlantic Ex Comm at 1-902-675-4093.
  • .
  • Climate emergency: health and cost 

    Sam Arnold

    Climate change is now widely recognized as a planetary emergency that is having both health impacts and economic costs caused by extreme weather events.

    These events, linked to global warming, now include prolonged droughts, increased forest fires, massive rainfalls, floods, polar ice melting, sea level rise, and severe storms around the world. This is an emergency that if not checked, is on track to severely impact human health and economic life. The effects of this emergency are already being felt in New Brunswick.

    Climatologists and the vast majority of unbiased climate scientists, led by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), have essentially proven that the mining and burning of fossil fuels has produced a sharp spike in global warming over the past 200 years. They have made it amply clear that if fossil fuel use remains at current levels, within a dozen years it will almost certainly be too late for humans to limit global warming, and the climate emergency will become uncontrollable.

    Climate change resulting from human produced global warming is by far the most serious threat facing the future of humanity with the global temperature on track to reach 4 to 5 degrees above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. It is no surprise that a growing number of municipalities are declaring climate emergencies, while the World Health Organization has called the climate crisis the greatest threat to public health. 

    This situation is very hard to accept or ignore. It means that fossil fuel extraction and use must now be sharply curtailed if the human species is to have any possibility of passing a liveable environment on to the next generation and to the generations to come.

    But in the face of these warnings and this evidence of the climate emergency, leading news stories and editorials in these newspapers continue to advocate for growing the economy with oil and gas extraction and with pipelines to bring these carbon producing fuels to market. The Conservative premiers of New Brunswick and Alberta continue to talk about “responsible resource development” for bitumen oil and shale gas. 

    How can this be “responsible” when long-term damage to public health and to economic life will be the result of continuing to burn fossil fuels? Resource development that increases global warming and makes the climate emergency worse is not responsible. It is negligent. It is even negligent about the well-being of the economy. 

    It is not responsible to insist that we must burn fossil fuels in order to have a healthy economy when the climate emergency created by burning fossil fuels is increasingly damaging the economy. Even major business corporations are now recognizing the reality of this situation, including some energy companies.

    Moreover, new research from Global Energy Monitor, an organization that tracks fossil fuel development, questions the long-term viability of even the natural gas industry. It cautions that many natural gas developments could become “stranded assets”. Investment in fossil fuels, which are creating the climate emergency, will become less and less attractive. Investment in clean energy alternatives will become increasingly attractive as costs continue to decrease and benefits continue to increase.

    New Brunswick, Canada, and the entire world must now pull out all the stops to substantially lower greenhouse gas emissions while making the switch to a low carbon economy with clean, renewable energy. The comparison has often been made that we need to mobilize for this climate emergency with the same speed and determination that was mobilized for World War II. 

    Only a total team effort by all levels of government, business, industry, and every citizen in all parts of the world can we make the changes necessary to reverse the climate emergency and avert a public health and an economic disaster. 

    The future looks grim unless all government subsidies to the fossil fuel industries end and are redirected to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions and rapidly advance the conversion to a clean energy economy. The sooner actions of this sort are taken, the lower will be the climate emergency costs and the better the outcome for the health of New Brunswickers and the economy of the province.

    For an eye-opening report that puts New Brunswick in the centre of this issue, see Healthy Climate, Healthy New Brunswickersby Dr. Louise Comeau and Daniel Nunes. 

    This comprehensive report summarizes existing research that explains how climate change can affect physical and mental health in New Brunswick. It includes temperature and precipitation projections for 16 NB municipalities. It reviews the health profiles of these same communities and makes recommendations for the next thirty years. This important report can be downloaded from the Conservation Council of New Brunswick (CCNB) website.

    Sam Arnold is a member of the Sustainable Energy Group in Carleton County.

  • Happy day! Finally it looks like Canada and New Brunswick are taking climate change seriously. Really seriously. And they are ready to listen! Members of Parliament are holding town hall meetings to hear from their constituents about climate change. The provincial government has launched a Select Committee on Climate Change which will be hearing from expert witnesses and holding meetings around the province to hear from ordinary people. And the federal-provincial working groups have an online portal to garner opinions from one and all.

    So, what’s the hold up? Why aren’t environmentalists falling all over themselves on this? Why hasn’t someone launched a big public campaign? It’s almost like it is too big! It seems like even long-time environmental activists feel like they don’t know enough. After all, climate change is not most people’s expertise. That being said, everyone knows its potential impacts on the area that they do work on – water, forests, air, endangered species, health.

    Climate change is the backdrop issue lurking in every environmentalist’s mind. Whatever issue is your passion climate change plays a role. If you work to improve the environment by direct action such as restoring a river or protecting precious habitat, that good work could fall from the climate wrecking ball. If advocating for protecting human health from chemical exposure or changing forestry practices is your thing, climate change scenarios make the doom and gloom situations much gloomier. Plus, if you start to think about your grandchildren, it is hard to maintain any sense of optimism whatsoever.

    Right now we are all invited to raise our voices. Let’s raise them together and show that dealing with climate change is as important as it gets!

      For more information…
  • Jim Emberger,Spokesperson
    New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance

    [A slightly edited version of this appeared in “The Telegraph-Journal”and ”The Daily Gleaner” on May 17, 2019, under the the title ‘Public not well-informed on climate change’.]

    I recently met a crew from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, who were installing a new structure to count salmon smolt on the Tay River. In recent years the count has been disappointingly small, so new and better information is needed.

    It’s always heartening to see dedicated people working to save our environment, but this morning I was left feeling that their task was like trying to hold back the tide.

    I had just read the United Nations report on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. It concluded that human activities have pushed one million plant and animal species to the brink of extinction.

    The reporting agency’s chair stated, "The health of ecosystems on which we and all other species depend is deteriorating more rapidly than ever. We are eroding the very foundations of our economies, livelihoods, food security, health, and quality of life worldwide."

    Seems like the kind of consequential information everyone needs to know. But mainstream media barely covered it. Since most people still get their news from mainstream media, the citizens, politicians, pundits and publishers who will shape our future will do so in ignorance of the real world.

    We just witnessed a similar failure of the press in the debate over carbon pricing, which took place with hardly any discussion of the essential context of the climate crisis.

    Carbon pricing began simultaneously with the release of a momentous scientific report showing that Canada is warming at two or three times the rate as the rest of the world. One of the consequences is increased precipitation.

    Days later another study reported that the arctic, as we have known it, is gone. High temperatures, that crush records by double digits, have altered almost every part of the arctic ecosystem, pushing it into a new state of existence.

    This will seriously impact global weather patterns, especially in our Northern hemisphere. One researcher warned, “What happens in the arctic does not stay in the arctic.”

    Other studies note that feedback loops, like melting permafrost (twelve times faster than thought), are increasing the speed and intensity of warming, and that the latest climate models show that former ‘worst case’ scenarios may, in fact, prove to be the norm.

    These reports each contained enough important news on causes, effects, and necessary actions to provide daily news stories for weeks.

    Actual media coverage lasted one or two days for the Canadian story, while the other stories received essentially no coverage.

    These studies were all released as eastern Canada was enduring the second ‘once-in-a-generation’ flood in two years. A responsible media could have informed the public of the connection between these stories and events.

    Instead, week after week, media climate news consisted solely of variations of the PC party’s political narrative, that a modest price on carbon pollution was somehow an assault on our freedom.

    This ‘debate’, consisting almost entirely of conjecture, crowded out the factual context of the climate crisis. One would think that carbon pricing, rather than a climate crisis, was threatening our world.

    Another missing story was that new audits of the emission targets of the Paris climate treaty reaffirmed that “any production from new oil and gas fields, beyond those already in production or development,” will take us beyond safe limits.

    This means that exploiting new tarsands or shale gas will render our other climate plans meaningless.

    Perhaps, not knowing this explains how Premier Higgs, pundits, publishers, and economists can express concerns for flood victims in one breath, while in the next breath promote new fossil fuel projects whose development will help to ensure a growing supply of future flood victims.

    If they had good climate information, politicians might be aware that raising roads won’t help us, unless we do something to keep future floodwaters from rising even higher.

    The media’s failure to provide context has consequences.

    The effort necessary to slow climate change is often compared to fighting World War II. It will require universal consensus that recognizes the vastness of the problem, the substantial work required, and that some sacrifices may be needed, but also that the task is necessary, we can do it, and that any hardships are justified by guaranteeing a liveable future for ourselves and our children.

    The climate crisis is the definitive ‘we are all in this together’ issue.

    The press has made getting this necessary consensus much harder. The outrage fostered by its focus on the politics of carbon pricing, was not balanced by sober reasoning about limiting fossil fuels.

    Angry people, whipped into a divisive frenzy by a one-sided argument, are not easily drawn back together.

    In one of the least reported parts of the Appeals Court carbon pricing decision, the five justices unanimously agreed that, “climate change has emerged as a major threat, not just to Canada, but to the planet itself.”

    We all need to be privy to the same proof that convinced the Court of that conclusion. Providing it should be the daily job of the press.

    Otherwise, the press simply becomes the enabler of ignorance. And as Mother Nature keeps reminding us, “what we don’t know can hurt us.”

  • Press Release

    A Bold, Made-in-New Brunswick Plan to Address Climate Change

    Conservation Council of New Brunswick releases policy options to spur climate change conversation

    July 13, 2016

    Fredericton, N.B. –A new report from the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, released today, offers provincial politicians, environmental policy makers, and citizens a bold vision for New Brunswick. The three-part plan covers electricity, provincial investments, and government policies required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while keeping bills low and creating jobs for New Brunswickers.

    New Brunswick’s greenhouse gas emissions mostly come from using fossil fuel energy: coal, oil and natural gas to make electricity to heat and cool our homes, and power our appliances and industry, as well as gasoline and diesel to run our vehicles and trucks to move people and goods.

    The Conservation Council’s“Climate Action Plan for NewBrunswick”proposes to reduce these emissions through investments to retrofit our buildings, starting with social and low-income housing; expanding efforts to install renewable energy like solar and wind; and accelerating installation of the Energy Internet (Smart Grid telecommunications) to manage a more distributed electricity load. These investments would help NB Power phase coal out of electricity production over the next 15 years. The Conservation Council’s plan also proposes creating incentives to help New Brunswickers buy electric and energy efficient vehicles and trucks as Ontario and Quebec have done, and modernizing industry and manufacturing to cut waste and pollution.

    Blue-Green Canada, an alliance of labour and environmental groups calculates that for every $1 million invested in the fossil fuel sector two jobs are created, while 15 jobs are created for the same amount in the clean energy sector. Using those figures, New Brunswick could create up to 7,500 jobs a year by investing its climate action dollars in clean energy and energy efficiency retrofits which, in turn, would keep energy bills low for New Brunswickers.

    QUOTES:

    “There is strong scientific consensus that the climate is becoming unbalanced mostly because of human activity (95% - 100% certainty).” – Dr. Louise Comeau, Director of Climate Change and Energy Policy.

    “Post-tropical storm Arthur opened New Brunswickers’ eyes to the reality of climate change. We now know and accept that climate change is a reality. The Conservation Council wants to start a serious conversation about adapting to, and mitigating, the damage to our communities as a result of a rapidly changing climate.” – Dr. Louise Comeau, Director of Climate Change and Energy Policy.

    “We need a comprehensive climate action plan that helps New Brunswick do its fair share so others will too. We need to work together because we can’t protect the people and communities we care about from extreme changes to the climate without partnering to drastically cut greenhouse gas pollution.” - Dr. Louise Comeau, Director of Climate Change and Energy Policy.

    “New Brunswick needs to implement policies and programs that are fair and cut waste by making polluters use clean energy and practice more sustainable agriculture and forestry.” – Dr. Louise Comeau, Director of Climate Change and Energy Policy.

    “If we act together, we can limit the risks to our health and communities from a more extreme climate.” – Dr. Louise Comeau, Director of Climate Change and Energy Policy.

    Key Facts:

    • New Brunswick is the second most electricity-dependent economy in Canada behind Québec. As a regional energy hub, New Brunswick is well positioned to become a clean energy leader by investing heavily in NB Power’s Smart Grid technology to give the electricity system the capacity it needs to significantly increase the supply of renewable energy, phase out coal-fired generating stations, and provide load balancing services to Nova Scotia, PEI, and New England.

    • Global investments in clean energy are increasing, spurring increased employment in the sector while the costs of clean energy have decreased significantly. Canada hasn’t kept pace, investing only $4 billion CND in 2015 while global investments in clean energy reached $325 billion USD, according to Clean Energy Canada’s Tracking the Energy Revolution 2016 report.

    • In 2015, the Atlantic Premiers and New England Governors agreed to cut greenhouse gas emissions 35% to 45% below 1990 levels by 2030. New Brunswick’s contribution to meeting that goal is to eliminate 6.5 million tonnes from our carbon budget. Almost 40% of those reductions can be achieved by phasing out coal to generate electricity, as Ontario has already done and Alberta will do by 2030.

    The Conservation Council of New Brunswick (conservationcouncil.ca) has been at the forefront of environmental protection in New Brunswick since 1969.We are a non-profit organization that creates awareness of environmental problems and advances practical solutions through research, education and interventions.


    Contact: Mike Girard

    Office: 506-458-8747

    E-mail: mike.girard@conservationcouncil.ca
  • Tuesday, 20 June, 2017

    Conservation Council reacts to Auditor General’s report on climate action in N.B.

    The Auditor General of New Brunswick, Kim MacPherson, has delivered a substantive review of the province’s climate change plan and what is needed to turn policy intentions into on-the-ground work to protect homes and communities from what she says “may be one of the greatest challenges for communities, governments and corporations in the coming decades.”

    “New Brunswick’s Auditor General’s report should put wind in the sails of the government’s plans to reduce carbon pollution and make our communities healthy and strong in the face of climate change,” says Lois Corbett, Executive Director of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick.

    “She points out, and rightly so, that while the 2016 Climate Change Action Plan lays out a series of 118 actions, we lack an aggressive time table or details on implementation.

    She recommends that the government introduce legislation to set its pollution targets into law, similar to that found in British Columbia, Quebec, Ontario, and Nova Scotia.

    We couldn't agree more and might go even a bit further — let’s see the legislation introduced the next time the Legislative Assembly meets, and let’s hope all parties vote for its speedy adoption.

    “If we want to catch this boat, the time for the government and NB Power to move is now. Not in 2018. Not ten years from now," says Corbett.
     -30-

    The Conservation Council of New Brunswick
    Established in 1969, the Conservation Council of New Brunswick has remained the province’s leading public advocate for environmental protection. A member of the UN’s Global 500 Roll of Honour, we work to find practical solutions to help families and citizens, educators, governments and businesses protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, the precious marine ecosystem and the land, including the forest, that support us.

    Recommended links

    To arrange an interview, contact:
    Jon MacNeill, Communications Director | 458-8747 | jon.macneill@conservationcouncil.ca
  • Édition spéciale du NB Naturalist bientôt disponible!


    Nous sommes heureux de vous informer que nous publions un numéro spécial de notre magazine, le NB Naturalist, sur la Nature, la Biodiversité et les Changements Climatiques. Le magazine est gratuit et prêt à être envoyé par la poste d'ici la fin du mois de novembre.  Nous aimerions le rendre disponible dans toute la province, veuillez nous faire savoir si vous êtes intéressés à contribuer à la distribution dans votre région. L'édition est entièrement traduite. Veuillez remplir le formulaire ici : https://goo.gl/forms/IdGVeuUJQOwBqj8o2.Si vous avez des questions, n'hésitez pas à nous contacter: 506-459-4209

     

     

     

    Vol 44 No 3 Nov 2017 P1 3

     

  • While the first ministers may take some time to agree on a national climate plan, there is some federal-provincial collaboration already in the works. Canada's federal and provincial auditors general are joining forces to come up with the first comprehensive national audit of climate change actions. Julie Gelfand, federal Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development, is heading up this national initiative that will be completed in 2017.  

    Ms. Gelfand was appointed as Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development in March 2014. She previously served as President of Nature Canada, and has worked in the mining sector.  

    Read more here: http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/federal-provincial-auditors-combine-forces-1.3453346

  • The NBEN organized a meeting yesterday with 15 environmental groups and the Minister of Environment and Local Government and his senior staff. It was a great meeting during which we explored ways to work more closely together on water, climate change, regional planning, and other issues. Thank you to everyone who attended!

    mtg Minister Kenny 2016 Mar 2
    Photo: Ann Pohl
  • 46460859 1614913335482280 8173504986865467392 n

    OUR 2019 CROWDFUND CAMPAIGN IS NOW LIVE!

    As we get ready for our 2nd season on the farm and the new-and-improved Regenerative Farming Certificate program, we need YOUR help to continue doing this work.

    We need your help to create a new generation of community-led farms, one person at a time. Help us train people to feed their communities as part of a new food and climate paradigm.

    As a community-based farm, we are changing our focus from maximizing profit to maximizing production for greater community impact. With reduced revenue and public funding in 2019, we are asking for the crowd’s continued help in funding our current shortfall, so that this next cohort of farm learners (15 participants for the 2019 season!!) can get a meaningful education in feeding our (their) communities without taking on an undue burden.

    Please give generously, or share the campaign widely, whatever gift you may be able to offer. No donation is too small and every effort is deeply appreciated.

    We are here for community, and we need you to be here for us!

    Hayes Farm - A project of NB Community Harvest Gardens Inc.

  • You may have noticed some curious posts about the federal carbon tax on the Government of New Brunswick’s Facebook Page and website.

    Premier Blaine Higgs’ Progressive Conservative government’s materials on the carbon tax and what it will mean for New Brunswick cherry-picks facts about the issue, misconstrues how we got here, and (until recently, after pushback from New Brunswickers and groups like your Conservation Council), didn’t even tell us how to claim the federal Climate Action Incentive in our 2018 taxes (an incentive which, for the majority of New Brunswick households, analysis shows will more than cover the extra costs associated with a carbon tax).

    Between the Higgs government’s misleading information on the carbon tax, and Andrew Scheers robo-texting campaign, there is a lot of politics dominating what should be a serious ‘all-hands-on-deck’ conversation about tackling climate change — what Canada’s leading health professionals call the ‘greatest public health threat of the 21st century.”

    Climate change is already affecting New Brunswickers. An issue this serious and this urgent should go beyond politics. Protecting the places we love should be something we all get behind and give our best, honest effort.

    But, slowing climate change is complicated business. And it’s made all the more confusing by stubborn and disconnected leaders who would rather deny climate change and abandon their duty to slow it and protect us from its effects.

    How did we get here? How does a carbon tax work? Why is it important? What more should we be doing to protect families from increasingly severe flooding, devastating ice storms, and flipped, unpredictable weather?

    Our Dr. Louise Comeau has prepared science-based, non-partisan fact sheets to help answer these important questions. If you are worried about climate change, but not sure where to get a sincere explanation of what all this is about, these resources can help. Give them a read. Share them with friends and family. And please, reach out to us if you have any questions (506-458-8747; info@conservationcouncil.ca).

    For the love of New Brunswick, we can — and must — prepare for a future with less pollution and safer communities.

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  • JIM EMBERGER COMMENTARY

    July 24, 2018  Telegraph Journal, Daily Gleaner, Times Transcript

    It was gratifying to see a recent article acknowledging that climate change has already changed our weather, and that weather-related problems will become ever more frequent and severe (“Not... our grandparents’ weather, July 14, A2).

    In the piece, a senior climatologist at Environment and Climate Change Canada, David Phillips, laid out in no-nonsense terms that New Brunswickers will be challenged to adapt to our increasingly confused climate.

    Warnings and good advice about adapting are a necessary discussion, but the real conversation we need to be having on climate change is about preventing the growing threats from a changed climate.

    It’s not as if there is some mysterious force wrecking the climate, with nothing we can do besides learning to live with it. Rather, it is undeniable that the climate-change culprit is our burning of fossil fuels, and the way to slow climate damage is to simply burn fewer of them.

    This elementary and obvious policy solution, however, seems impossible for some to publicly acknowledge. Perhaps, that’s because once you acknowledge a fact, then you must act on that knowledge even if it is uncomfortable.

    Mr. Phillips could have painted an even darker picture. Numerous studies show the climate is changing faster than originally thought and will result in an even hotter world. This past month’s global heat wave shattered temperature records worldwide, often by double digits. Fifty-four people died in Quebec as a result of the heat wave.

    It’s a foreshadowing that should focus our minds, much like the record-breaking floods in New Brunswick. Adaptation to such catastrophes will certainly be necessary, but there are limits to adaptation, especially if conditions continually get worse.

    How many times can you raise the height of a dike, seawall or house on stilts? For trees destroyed by tropical storms, ice storms, warmer temperatures and an ever-growing list of invasive species, it’s too late to adapt.

    And when it’s too hot to work (or even exist) outdoors, adaptation has reached its end, as it is already has in some places. The only long-term solution is to keep conditions from getting worse, and that means reducing our use of fossil fuels.

    Recently, I asked Progressive Conservative leader Blaine Higgs how his plans to lift the moratorium on fracking and promote a shale gas industry fit into plans to combat climate change. It was actually a trick question, because there is only one answer: To slow climate change we cannot exploit any new fossil fuels, and we must leave much of what we have already discovered in the ground.

    This reality now drives global economic trends, which cast doubt on the wisdom of any new fossil fuel investments.

    New studies predict that the plunging cost of renewable energy, advances in battery storage, electric vehicles and energy-efficiency measures will reduce the demand for fossil fuels so significantly that $1 trillion dollars of fossil fuel infrastructure will become worthless by 2035.

    If governments act to reduce emissions as well, the losses grow to $4 trillion dollars and the timetable is shortened by years.

    The U.S. and Canada would be the biggest losers in this scenario because they produce the most expensive fossil fuels – fracked oil and gas, and oil sands. New Brunswick is fortunate to not have much existing unconventional fossil fuel infrastructure at risk.

    But the Atlantica Centre for Energy and Encana claim that now is the time to build a shale gas infrastructure, because current supplies from Nova Scotia will soon run out, leaving 8,600 buildings without gas.

    The obvious rebuttal to this argument is to simply buy gas from elsewhere. But an even better answer is that most gas customers can switch to cleaner sources of energy, which they will eventually have to do anyway. The government and NB Power could even assist in their transition, as part of climate, innovation and energy-efficiency programs.

    In any case, New Brunswick has 319,773 private dwellings and 30,164 businesses. Simple math shows that 8,600 gas-using buildings make up only two per cent of the total. This hardly makes a case for undertaking the huge financial, health and environmental risks of building a new shale gas industry.

    Ireland and Scotland also have fracking moratoriums. Ireland just decided to disinvest all government funds from fossil fuel projects, and Scotland is debating whether to even accept fracked gas from other countries.

    Canada, however, remains among the world’s top three contributors to climate change on a per person basis, due to the high greenhouse gas emissions of our unconventional fossil fuel industries.

    Surely, our New Brunswick moratorium makes the moral statement that “we” at least won’t make things worse for our children, the world and ourselves.

    Keeping the moratorium not only protects us from fracking’s many threats to our health and the environment. It also helps slow climate change, and keeps us from making an unnecessary and seriously self-destructive fiscal decision.

    Jim Emberger is spokesperson for the New Brunswick Anti-Shale Gas Alliance (NoShaleGasNB.ca).
  • Pour diffusion immédiate : le 6 février 2019

    FREDERICTON — L’Alliance anti-gaz de schiste du Nouveau-Brunswick (AAGSNB) a annoncé aujourd’hui qu’elle avait obtenu le statut d’intervenant devant la Cour d’appel de la Saskatchewan dans le renvoi portant sur la contestation de la tarification du carbone imposée par le gouvernement fédéral. L’Alliance appuiera le gouvernement fédéral et s’opposera à la position du gouvernement du N.-B.

    « Les changements climatiques sont d’ores et déjà manifestes et la risposte doit être immédiate, juste et efficace » déclare le représentant de l’Alliance, Jim Emberger. Les inondations en hiver et en été, les vagues de tempête causées par la montée du niveau de la mer et les tempêtes intenses, les sécheresses, les vagues de chaleur et autres changements climatiques perturbent déjà la vie, les moyens de subsistance et le bien-être des Néo-Brunswickois et ils vont s’aggraver.

    Ces phénomènes météorologiques extrêmes mettent les populations à risque et font des changements climatiques une question de santé publique. C’est pourquoi en 2018 les médecins canadiens qui participaient à l’évaluation Lancet sur les changements climatiques et la santé ont incité les gouvernements à «utiliser les outils de tarification du carbone le plus rapidement et le plus largement possible, en augmentant progressivement les cibles de façon prévisible.» (1)

    « Aucun gouvernement ne peut se soustraire à sa responsabilité de diminuer la pollution par le carbone et de protéger sa population contre les effets dévastateurs des changements climatiques » affirme Jim Emberger. L’intention du gouvernement du Nouveau-Brunswick de ressusciter l’exploitation du gaz de schiste et de soutenir la construction d’oléoducs démontre bien qu’il ne comprend pas l’urgence et les menaces majeures que les changements climatiques font peser sur nos communautés. Qui plus est, il n’a pas élaboré son propre programme de tarification du carbone afin de se conformer aux normes minimales canadiennes.

    Le gouvernement fédéral possède le pouvoir constitutionnel de mettre en œuvre les ententes internationales et d’imposer aux provinces les normes minimales nécessaires au respect de ces ententes. De plus, l’article 7 de la Charte canadienne des droits et libertés garantit le « droit à la vie, à la liberté et à la sécurité de la personne ». Par conséquent, l’Alliance anti-gaz de schiste du Nouveau-Brunswick maintient que le gouvernement fédéral a le pouvoir, le devoir et l’obligation d’imposer de telles normes minimales.

    Sans égard à l’endroit où elle est faite, la combustion du pétrole, du charbon et du gaz a des effets nocifs sur notre santé et elle déstabilise le climat. Les émissions polluantes ne respectent pas les frontières politiques dressées sur une carte. Toutes les provinces doivent appliquer le principe du pollueur-payeur également. C’est l’approche la plus juste.

    Le renvoi de la Saskatchewan sera entendu par la Cour d’appel de la Saskatchewan les 13 et 14 février 2019.

    - 30 –

    Voir le résumé des arguments présentés dans le mémoire de l’AAGSNB (Francais) :http://www.noshalegasnb.ca/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/Carbon-pricing-summary-FR.pdf

    Pour plus amples renseignements ou pour organiser une entrevue :
    Jim Emberger (English) 367-2658, 440-4255 (cell), shaleinfo.nb@gmail.com
    Denise Melanson (Francais) 523-9467, 858-0321 (cell), inrexton2013@yahoo.ca

    (1) https://www.newswire.ca/fr/news-releases/selon-le--compte-a-rebours--du-lancet-il-est-temps-de-reduire-davantage-les-emissions-sinon-des-vies-humaines-et-la-survie-des-systemes-de-sante-seront-menacees-701488542.html
  • ccnb-logo-hr
    September 29, 2016

    PRESS RELEASE

    Fredericton, N.B. – A national assessment by the Pembina Institute of provincial progress on climate action commitments finds New Brunswick at the back of the pack on climate action.The Race to the Front: Tracking Pan-Canadian Climate Progress and Where We Go from Here report, released in collaboration with the Conservation Council, sets the context for an all-important meeting of Environment Ministers Monday, October 3 in Montreal.

    The meeting of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment (CCME) is expected to approve options developed by four federal-provincial working groups to meet commitments made in Paris at the United Nations Climate Conference in December 2015. CCME recommendations will go to Premiers and the Prime Minister to support final negotiations leading to a meeting of First Ministers (FMM) in November. The FMM is expected to finalize a framework where each province would be required to meet certain basic climate action requirements such as putting in place carbon pricing regime meeting similar price and coverage benchmarks across Canada. Provinces failing to do so by a certain date would have a carbon charge imposed by the federal government (the backstop). The federal Government is also expected to accelerate regulations to phase coal out of electricity production. The Pembina Institute report assesses where provinces currently are with respect to climate action and highlights additional actions required by provinces and the federal Government.

    The Conservation Council has published a provincial climate action plan detailing recommendations for doing our fair share to cut carbon pollution. Proposed actions could improve energy efficiency and increase the supply of renewable energy in buildings, industry and transportation, and create jobs at home.

    “New Brunswick shows weak progress on climate action, but we believe the province can make a positive contribution to Canada’s pollution reduction goals. To reduce emissions in the near term, New Brunswick must implement an economy-wide carbon price with funds raised invested in greenhouse gas reductions, and it needs to agree to phase coal out of electricity production no later than 2030,” says Louise Comeau, Director of Climate Change and Energy Solutions.

    The Conservation Council of New Brunswick is committed to doing its part to help New Brunswick move to a 100% renewable energy future by creating awareness and advancing practical solutions through research, education and policy development.As a local environmental organization, CCNB supports the transition to clean energy in New Brunswick and what’s being done to reach renewable goals.

    For more information, contact: Dr. Louise Comeau, Director of Climate Change and Energy Solutions, CCNB, Tel. (506)238-0355

    Download the Pembina Report here:

  • CCNB logo HR
    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.”

    -30-
    Recommended Links: To arrange an interview, contact:Jon MacNeill, Communications Director, 238-3539 (m) | 458-8747 (w) | jon.macneill@conservationcouncil.ca
  • ClimateLetterWideBanner.sml
    From intense rain, wind and ice storms bringing flooding and power outages, to hotter days and seasons bringing dry summers and ticks, a lot of us are feeling anxious and on edge about climate change in New Brunswick.

    We need strong leadership from our provincial government to do everything it can to protect our families’ health and communities’ safety from the effects of climate change and extreme weather we’re already seeing today.

    This year, make your Earth Day count a little extra by writing Premier Blaine Higgs about your concerns and your call for serious action on climate change.

    We’ve made it easy for you to speak out. Use our letter-writing tool below to let the Premier know where you stand and what you want.Our pre-written letter includes recommendations for smart climate solutions. We strongly encourage you to add to this letter with your own personal story of how climate change makes you feel and how it has affected you and your family.

    Letter button

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