Building a National Climate Strategy: Some Ideas for Premier Gallant – Part I: Regulating industrial Emissions
Fredericton – In early March, Premier Gallant will participate in a First Ministers conference hosted by Prime Minister Trudeau to discuss a national climate action strategy. On Friday, Brian Kenny, Minister of Environment and Local Government will meet with his peers from across the country. David Coon, MLA for Fredericton South and Leader of the Green Party of New Brunswick has some suggestions for Premier Gallant and Minister Kenny.
“We need to set enforceable regulations on industry now,” said Coon. “Regulating SO2 emissions worked really well in the 1990s to stop acid rain. We need to apply that same approach to carbon emitters today.”
One third of our carbon emissions in New Brunswick come from just two sources, the oil refinery in Saint John and the coal-fired power plant in Belledune.
“I would like to see Premier Gallant make the negotiation of a federal-provincial accord on climate action with Ottawa a priority, based around a clear commitment to set legally-binding limits on carbon pollution from the refinery and the smelter,” said Coon.
In July 2015, the government introduced a policy to require industry to produce greenhouse gas management plans as part of their renewal of their approvals to operate. Both the Belledune Thermal Generating Station and the Irving Oil Refinery renewed their approvals to operate days before the new guidelines came into effect. They both have five years before they will need to file another renewal.
“Greenhouse gas management plans will do little to reduce industrial emission in the near future. We need legally-binding limits for carbon pollution at the refinery and the Belledune power plant,” said Coon