FREDERICTON, Dec. 14, 2017 /CNW/ - Forest NB, on behalf of a coalition of forest product manufacturers, acknowledge that we have an important role to play in fighting climate change. We have planted approximately two billion trees that each absorb one tonne of carbon in their lifetime. The New Brunswick forest sector has also reduced its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions at its manufacturing sites by over 50% since 1990 through facility investments and process improvements.
Today, the New Brunswick Minister of Environment and Local Government, Mr. Serge Rousselle, announced measures to impose a carbon pricing plan that defaults to a federal backstop model for industrial emitters of greenhouse gases (GHGs).
"We recognize that New Brunswick has been playing a lot of catch-up on carbon pricing policy, especially regarding other provinces, but the fact that they are positioning this as a made-in-NB solution is only partly true. It's a made-in-NB solution, but with a significant part yet to be written by their federal counterparts. As an industry, that kind of uncertainty is concerning," states Mike Legere, executive director of Forest NB.
All other Canadian provinces that have developed provincial carbon pricing plans have recognized their respective challenges and opportunities. This permits these provinces to reduce emissions while at the same time ensures its industries are not harmed from a "one size fits all" federal policy not attuned to unique provincial attributes.
Legere says, "Over 30% of New Brunswick's total manufacturing exports are based on forest products. These exports, that sustain so many jobs, are especially sensitive to regulatory changes that impact our competitiveness."
The adoption of the proposed federal backstop, in its current form, does not consider previous emission reduction efforts, nor does it fully recognize the opportunity for growing New Brunswick forests to absorb carbon. Given the importance of this file to New Brunswick jobs and the economy, the provincial government needs to continue to actively collaborate with the federal government and industry.
"To ensure New Brunswick employees, their families and communities are not hurt by this decision to adopt the federal backstop, a federal-provincial agreement must be negotiated which sets out how the backstop will apply and affect New Brunswick industry. There is an ongoing role for the provincial government in ensuring the backstop does not harm our sector's competitiveness," Legere added.
"We look forward to working with all levels of government to achieve a true and sustainable made-in-NB solution to our climate change challenges."
SOURCE Forest NB
For further information: Mike Legere, Executive Director/Directeur executive, Forest NB / Forêt NB, 506-452-6930