leader calls government plan to continue burning coal appalling

FREDERICTON – Green Party leader David Coon is calling Environment Minister Gary Crossman’s proposal to continue burning coal in New Brunswick, past the federal 2030 deadline for coal phase-out in Canada, appalling.

“Given the climate emergency, this is the decisive decade where it is essential we replace our dependence on non-renewable energy, such as fossil fuels, with renewable energy sources,” said Coon.  “Sixteen years ago, a legal requirement was established in the Electricity Act in order to increase our use of locally-sourced renewable power from 23 percent to 33 percent of the electricity we consume by 2016.  Today, our use of local renewable energy sources has increased to a mere 24%.  This is shocking.”

Minister of Environment Gary Crossman has proposed a regulation to the Climate Change Act which would see NB Power continue to dump close to 3 million tonnes of carbon pollution annually into the atmosphere over the next 10 years, with slight reductions during the 2030’s.  This is his proposal to the federal government to secure what’s called an equivalency agreement, to keep burning coal until 2040.

“We need a renewable energy and conservation plan to decarbonize our society this decade,” said Coon.  “It is nowhere to be seen.”