Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development releases Collaborative Climate Change Report27 March 2018
FREDERICTON (GNB) – Today, acting on behalf of auditors general of most provinces and the Auditor General of Canada, Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development Julie Gelfand provided the House of Commons with a report titled Perspectives on Climate Change Action in Canada: A Collaborative Report from Auditors General. The report provides an overview of important questions raised in the audit work released over the last 18 months by the auditors general of most provinces, as well as in the three northern territories and at the federal level, to provide an overall and independent assessment of the state of climate change action in Canada.
“The findings from the federal, provincial and territorial climate change audits confirm that Canada’s governments are working on climate change, but that the work is far from being done,” said Gelfand.
The collaborative report points to a number of common shortcomings across governments which are hindering Canada’s overall efforts to address and adapt to climate change and which, as a result, are preventing Canadians from preparing themselves to deal with current and future climate impacts.
In her June 2017 climate change report, New Brunswick Auditor General Kim MacPherson found that although New Brunswick set its Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission reduction targets in its most recent Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP), the targets are not legislated yet. She also found New Brunswick is on track to meet the 2020 target, however, significant actions are required to meet both 2030 and 2050 targets. In addition, MacPherson found there was no specific GHG emission reduction targets set for NB Power, one of the most significant GHG emitters in New Brunswick.
In their examination of how their governments were planning to adapt to the impacts of climate change, auditors general found that most governments either had an adaptation plan that lacked basic details, such as timelines, or that they had no plan at all.
New Brunswick’s auditor general found the province’s CCAP includes a fairly comprehensive list of adaptation activities. However, details of how each activity will be achieved, timelines and allocated funding were lacking. MacPherson also found vulnerability assessments were completed in 46 New Brunswick communities, however, there was no documented comprehensive risk assessment for the province as a whole.
Most auditors across the country found that there was limited co-ordination on climate change among government departments and agencies, and that monitoring progress and regular public reporting were also limited. However, MacPherson found the Province of New Brunswick has made some efforts to establish internal governance and co-ordination arrangements to achieve GHG emissions reduction targets and adapt to climate change.
The collaborative report also sets out a number of questions for elected officials and Canadians to consider asking of governments, as they continue their efforts to reduce emissions and address climate change impacts.
The collaborative climate change report and the AGNB report on climate change are available on the website.
The Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development and provincial auditors general of British Columbia and Nova Scotia, along with a spokesperson for the territorial climate change audits, will host a webinar to discuss the collaborative report starting at 2:30 pm AST. Please sign up here. The Auditor General of New Brunswick is available for media interviews.27-03-18