New Brunswick’s Tory government has released its “made-in-New Brunswick” plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The plan, titled Holding Large Emitters Accountable: New Brunswick’s Output-Based Pricing System, will see New Brunswick target the province’s large emitters by regulating industrial and electricity generation.
According to the plan, large industrial emitters will be required to reduce their “greenhouse gas emissions intensity” by 10 per cent by 2030, while electricity generators will be required to meet performance standards “designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while minimizing rate impacts.”
There are eight large emitters that would fall under the plan, including the Irving Oil refinery in Saint John.
The province says it borrowed parts of the plan from Saskatchewan and Newfoundland’s proposals.
“With this plan, we can continue to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while keeping New Brunswick’s economic competitiveness and ensuring job stability,” said Jeff Carr, New Brunswick’s minister of environment and local government.
Lois Corbett of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick told media after the announcement that she would need time to review the proposed plan.
Corbett said she wants to make sure “there are no Grand Canyon-sized loopholes” for big business.
Carr said the government’s new plan does not change New Brunswick’s goal of challenging the federal carbon tax backstop imposed on the province.
New Brunswick has repeatedly argued that the federal plan does not consider the previous reduction of carbon emissions in the province, including a 28 per cent reduction since 2005.
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“This is really about fairness,” said Carr.
“Other provinces have reached agreements with Ottawa that are less stringent than what we face under the federal backstop.”
The New Brunswick government says its proposed system will cover “roughly 50 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions in the province” but that it is only one of several actions needed to reduce emissions.
The plan is now open to comment from the public from June 13 to July 12 before it will be sent to Ottawa for review.
Comments on the proposal can be sent to NBOBPS_STFRNB@gnb.ca.
With files from Morganne Campbell