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Provincial Government provides climate change and energy efficiency Action Plan update

The following statement was given on December 9th, 2014 in the House of Assembly by the Honourable Dan Crummell, Minister Responsible for the Office of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency:

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to provide Honourable Members with the third annual update on implementing the 2011 climate change and energy efficiency action plans.

These plans outline our government’s strategic approach for adapting to the impacts of climate change, improving our province’s energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Mr. Speaker, this fall we released a detailed report outlining the progress on the 75 commitments contained in these plans.

Since the launch of the action plans in 2011, our government has taken significant steps to improve our province’s resilience to the impacts of climate change. This includes continuing to develop flood risk maps for our communities and expanding coastal erosion monitoring to 112 sites throughout the province, including nine in Labrador. Mr. Speaker, with projected increases in precipitation and extreme weather, this work ensures our communities can factor climate change into their planning and development decisions.

Additionally, we are improving our preparedness for extreme weather events as 97 per cent of Newfoundlanders and Labradorians now live in areas with Emergency Management Plans and we have an alert system that notifies at-risk communities of potential flooding.

Mr. Speaker, we have also continued our Residential Energy Efficiency Program. This program provides grants to low-income households to complete energy-efficient upgrades to their homes. By March 2015, over 5,400 Newfoundlanders and Labradorians will have benefitted from this program, saving an average of $720 each year on their energy bills.

Demonstrating leadership on energy efficiency remains a priority for our government, Mr. Speaker. In addition to energy efficiency retrofits in government buildings, we have two ongoing pilot projects to raise awareness about energy conservation. In October, we launched HotShots – an exciting new initiative for teachers and students that has included sending over 850 resource packs to 263 schools in the province. We are also working with Newfoundland and Labrador Hydro to provide 500 households with real-time energy monitors to determine whether they help individuals conserve electricity.

These initiatives complement our award-winning Turn Back the Tide campaign, Mr. Speaker, which received two Pinnacle Awards this year from the International Association of Business Communicators of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Mr. Speaker, these are some of the many highlights of our government’s work to implement our climate change and energy efficiency action plans. Our government is committed to continuing to drive forward delivery of its remaining commitments and consider what further action needs to be taken in pursuit of our 2020 targets.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

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