New Brunswick will aim to reduce emissions 46% below 2005 levels by 2030 and 75% below 2005 levels by 2050.
Emitting greenhouse gases (GHG) accelerates the rising global temperature. Once greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere, they remain there for many years, trapping heat, and accelerating climate change. New Brunswick must both reduce emissions and has implemented over 100 action items to address and initiate a sustainable movement towards reducing emissions in their Transitioning to a Low-Carbon Economy plan . Climate change poses a risk to the natural resources in NB, and therefore to the economy as well.
New Brunswick is already experiencing the implications of climate change, largely due to the amount of greenhouse gasses being emitted worldwide. New Brunswick produces a very small portion of global emissions - with Canada only representing about 1-2% - and can be seen as a national leader in emission reduction. Yet, despite major reductions, the province’s annual temperature has risen by 1.1° Celsius over the past 30 years, showing the global scale of this issue. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change expects a rise in temperature over 2° Celsius, which would have irreversible consequences. With rising temperatures comes rising sea levels, risks of flooding and erosion, and extreme weather events that do permanent damage.
New Brunswick relies on sectors that produce and emit greenhouse gases to stimulate economic growth. The refinery in New Brunswick is the largest in Canada and is a large contributor to the province's emissions. Transportation represents the largest portion of emissions in New Brunswick, at 29% in 2019.Yet, transportation has been necessary to connect rural and urban parts of the province. Electricity generation has been one of the largest emitters in the province until recently, and the coal-fired plants for electricity production such as the plant in Belledune are the main contributors to emissions from this sector.