New Brunswick should legislate greenhouse gas reduction targets: auditor general
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FREDERICTON — New Brunswick's auditor general is calling on the province to legislate targets for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
"Legislated targets give a government more authority to enforce actions and shows a serious commitment to greenhouse gas emissions," Kim MacPherson said Tuesday.
It is one of the recommendations in the first volume of MacPherson's annual report presented to the legislature.
She said emissions have declined from their 2005 peak, but meeting targets set for 2030 and 2050 will require significant action both provincially and federally.
MacPherson said Nova Scotia and three other provinces have legislated their greenhouse gas reduction targets, and New Brunswick needs to do the same.
MacPherson is also calling for a comprehensive risk assessment to identify priorities and determine when measures outlined in the province's Climate Change Action Plan will be implemented.
"(Without this), it will make it difficult to consistently identify key climate risks and prioritize the risks," she said.
Her report says that while NB Power has renewable energy targets, it doesn't have future greenhouse gas reduction targets.
She said the federal initiative to phase out coal-fired electricity by 2020 poses a potential operating risk to NB Power because its coal-fired Belledune Generating Station produces 13 per cent of the utility's total power capacity.
Environment Minister Serge Rousselle said the government would seriously consider the auditor general's recommendations, but it is currently working on the issue of carbon pricing.
Lois Corbett, executive director of the Conservation Council of New Brunswick, said MacPherson's report "should put wind in the sails of the government's plans to reduce carbon pollution and make our communities healthy and strong in the face of climate change."