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Manufacturers promote technology re-investment to Select Committee on Climate Change

Published by Brad Fougere on September 09, 2016

Fredericton – The New Brunswick division of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) is advocating to the Provincial Legislature’s Select Committee on Climate Change that in order to make further reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, they must help accelerate technological progress through the right kind of re-investment into manufacturers.

CME is concerned that, if not properly executed, any new model introduced by the Government of New Brunswick and the Government of Canada could take away capital from companies, undermining their ability to make investments and reduce emissions.

"CME supports reinvesting the proceeds drawn from industry through any future program - back into industry," said Joel Richardson, CME New Brunswick Vice President. “The New Brunswick Economic Growth Plan released by Premier Brian Gallant on Tuesday states that annual private-sector capital expenditures are down $1.2 billion per year (40%) compared to 2006. This is due to low business confidence in the economy.”

“Higher costs for energy, infrastructure, transportation, and regulatory compliance will erode profitability and therefore the ability of companies to invest in the new technologies that are required to make further progress in reducing emissions. Re-investment support in new and improved plant facilities, technologies, machinery, and equipment will help boost confidence and be a key driver of technological progress across the manufacturing sector,” added Richardson.

Manufacturers and exporters are especially concerned that higher operating costs in Canada will result in production and investment moving to other jurisdictions with more competitive cost structures, and probably less stringent environmental controls. This would be counterproductive both in economic and environmental terms. Therefore CME is recommending that new policies, taxes, and regulations pertaining to climate change need to ensure revenue neutrality and a level playing field between Canadian and foreign industry.

“With $10.8 billion in export sales and over 850 companies employing 30,000 people, manufacturing is one of New Brunswick’s largest economic sectors. We fully support the government’s efforts to balance environmental performance with economic growth,” stated Richardson. “The evidence of the past 25 years clearly shows that improvements in environmental performance and economic growth are in fact are co-dependent. As investment in new machinery and equipment increases, companies are more productive, and emissions and energy intensity decrease. At the same time, these investments make manufacturers more competitive, enabling companies to invest further in their workforce, and in new products and technologies, as they expand their business.”

Manufacturers have been leaders in achieving GHG emission reductions. The federal department of Environment and Climate Change Canada noted in its National Inventory Report: Greenhouse Gas Sources and Sinks in Canada that the largest decreases in energy sector emissions were observed in the manufacturing industries from 1990-2014. Manufacturing emissions fell by 14 per cent between 1990 and 2014, even though sales revenue increased 150 per cent and real production levels rose 33 per cent over that same period of time.

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) is Canada’s largest national trade and industry association. CME works with New Brunswick companies to help support their growth and be more competitive here and around the world.

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Media contact: Joel Richardson (506) 259-0358
Vice President, New Brunswick & PEI Divisions, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME)
Email: Joel.richardson@cme-mec.ca Twitter: @JoelHRichardson LinkedIn: Joel Richardson

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