Legislate reduction targets for greenhouse gas emissions in N.B., says auditor general – New Brunswick

New Brunswick’s auditor general is calling on the provincial government to follow the lead of four other provinces, including neighbouring Nova Scotia, and legislate targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions.

Kim MacPherson also wants to see a comprehensive risk assessment for the province to identify priorities and details about how and when the 118 actions identified in the province’s Climate Change Action Plan will be implemented.

“Adapting to climate change may be one of the greatest challenges for communities, governments and corporations in the coming decades,” MacPherson said on Tuesday, when she tabled the first volume of her annual report in Fredericton.

Although emissions in New Brunswick have declined from their peak in 2005 and are on track to meet the 2020 reduction targets laid out in the province’s 2016 action plan, the status quo will not be enough to meet 2030 and 2050 targets, according to her report.

“Overall, we found many action items do not have timelines or implementation plans,” said MacPherson.

Reducation targets that are legislated show a government’s commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, her report said.

“If targets were legislated, it would give government authority to enforce these actions.”

Nova Scotia, Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia have all legislated their reduction targets, the report points out.

Will ‘seriously consider’ recommendations

Environment and Local Government Minister Serge Rousselle told reporters the government “will seriously consider” MacPherson’s recommendations.

“Right now, we are working on doing the carbon pricing and things like that, and in the next two years, we are seriously considering that,” he said.

Environment and Local Government Minister Serge Rousselle says the government is focused on carbon pricing. (CBC)

Asked whether he is confident the province will meet the 2030 reduction targets, Rousselle replied, “You can be sure that we’ll do…

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