Media Release March 05, 2019
New Clear Free Solutions
MLA’s and Public petitioned to Save the Climate Change Fund siting huge economic, social and environmental benefits found in newly released Integrated Resource Plan.
On March 5, 2019 New Brunswick’s solutions-based organization, New Clear Free Solutions, wrote to all MLA’s to petition them to save the Climate Change Fund from being repealed from the Climate Change Act. In support of the petition the organization has also released their new Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) showing the many economic, social and environmental benefits that the fund can provide.
Chris Rouse, the main author of the plan states “Not only is this really good environmental policy, but our business plan shows it will also provide huge economic benefits to the province”. Rouse is also encouraging members of the public to also write their MLA’s and party leaders to show support for the framework in the newly released plan as well as asking MLA’s to vote against repealing the Climate Change Fund.
Rouse argues that the climate change fund can co-exist with the federal plan, as it does not introduce any new cost to consumers, which is the reason the federal government did not approve it. “By not approving it, the federal government did not mean we have to get rid of it, as they have no jurisdiction to do so.” Given that there is no cost to consumers, the climate change fund would still be in line with all party’s election commitments -even the commitment of “No Carbon Tax”. That is because it is a fund, not a tax.
An Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) is a comprehensive decision support tool and road map for meeting a utility’s objective of providing reliable and least-cost sustainable electric service to its customers while addressing the substantial risks and uncertainties inherent in the electric utility business. It is essentially the utility’s long-term business plan.
New Clear Free Solutions’ plan is a comprehensive visual document intended to guide the public and official decision makers through the critical decisions that need to be made in developing an IRP for New Brunswick. It is also intended to provide an alternative and comparison to our current business as usual (BAU) IRP. The document shows that private investment is not in the publics’ interest.
The alternative IRP examines the business case for a public investment of the Climate Change Fund revenue through our publicly owned utility into renewables, efficiency and fuel switching. It is consistent with current legislation including the Electricity Act and Climate Change Act that came into force in April 2018. It has the objective of transitioning 95% of our total energy needs to renewables using our own local renewable energy resources. This displaces most of our carbon energy cost that is external to our economy and redirects these funds back into the province.
Conclusions from the alternative IRP:
- There are no technical or economic barriers to the transition to a low-carbon economy.
- Publicly investing the Climate Change Fund revenue into renewables, efficiency, and fuel switching will provide significant benefits to the economy, environment and the New Brunswick society.
- The investment coupled with the reinvestment will provide all the capital needed to transition to a low-carbon economy.
- Publicly investing the Climate Change Fund revenue will keep rates low and stable.
- Publicly investing the Climate Change Fund revenue will pay huge dividends to the province and hence all New Brunswickers not just a select few.
- Publicly investing the Climate Change Fund revenue will get NB Power out of debt.
- Publicly investing the Climate Change Fund revenue will significantly reduce our emissions.
- Publicly investing the Climate Change Fund revenue will create many jobs and create a huge multi-decade construction boom.
After extensive research and consultations, New Clear Free Solutions has determined that most New Brunswickers want a strong economy and clean energy at low rates provided by NB Power. Given that renewables are now the least cost option, this alternative plan gives the people of New Brunswick what they want. The IRP that exists currently is the problem, not the Fund. We can seize the day, vote to keep what works and change what doesn’t.
Links to MLAs are provided below so that community groups and the general public can send a message to their MLAs and party leaders to vote against repealing the Climate Change Fund and show support for the framework used in this IRP.
Links to Additional Information
Links to Additional Information