11 DECEMBER 2015
On returning home from COP21, the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, Green Party leader and Fredericton South MLA David Coon says New Brunswick and the Maritimes as a region are well positioned to become Canada’s first low carbon society.
“We have abundant renewable resources, there is cutting edge research and development going on in UNB’s Faculty of Engineering, we already have pioneering enterprises in green construction and clean technology manufacturing , and we are small enough to make it happen,” said Coon. “But we have to seize the day or the world is going to pass us by.”
The Chinese government recently announced that it was making green energy a pillar of its future economic development to drive innovation and job creation without adding more carbon pollution. Coon says that New Brunswick working with Nova Scotia, PEI and the new federal government should establish the Maritimes as the prototype for the coming energy transition.
“Former Premier Alex Campbell had this vision for PEI in 1970’s, but he was a man ahead of his time. Timing is everything and we have reached the moment where we need to go boldly forward to wean our region from fossil fuels. The old model of regional development, the mania for megaprojects, and the more recent obsession with pipelines and shale gas are dead ends. It is imperative we develop our economies, so let’s use the transition to green energy, green transportation, and green buildings as driving forces,” said Coon.
Currently 54% of the energy used in New Brunswick is oil, 10% is coal, 17% is natural gas, and 18% is renewable, largely wood and hydro.
“When I was at COP21 it was crystal clear where the puck is going. We don’t want to be left warming the bench,” said Coon. “This why I have tabled the Green Jobs Act in the Legislature to get us moving in this new direction.”