Climate change is a hot topic around the world and in Canada, and the business community in New Brunswick is preparing itself for what most believe is inevitable.
“Carbon pricing. I don’t think it’s a matter of ‘if,’ it’s more a matter of ‘when,’” said Adrienne O’Pray, C.E.O of the New Brunswick Business Council.
The Council was brought up to speed on various aspects of the issue in late February, just prior to a meeting between Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and the premiers session on global warming in Vancouver.
O’Pray says they learned industry isn’t at the top when it comes to emissions.
“If we look both as citizens and as businesses the real drivers of carbon emissions in our province and in Atlantic Canada are primarily the heating and cooling of our homes and also our own personal transportation,” he said.
The Council hasn’t come up with a definitive position on carbon pricing but does feel it should be a collaborative effort between all four Atlantic provinces.
The Gallant government is moving on the climate change file with a special legislative committee announced earlier this month. Committee member and Green Party Leader David Coon says a regional approach makes sense in many ways.
“For example if we want to get transportation emissions down then a regional approach makes a lot of sense on transportation, even in electricity,” Coon said.
He says the sky could be the limit for business in the climate change business.
“In terms of the growth in energy efficiency, in green energy, in clean technology, in new forms of transportation.”
The government itself stands to collect money in whatever form of carbon pricing is adopted. O’Pray says there will be various options for the province to recycle that back into the economy.
“To re-look at the income tax structure,” he said. “It’s an opportunity to look at infrastructure spending. It can support the movement to renewable energy sources and it can even be household transfers.”