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9 Sep 2013

Major commitments in rail transport safety, energy-efficient transportation and the combat against climate change

Catherine Blewett, Nova Scotia’s Deputy Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs; Maggie Hassan, Governor of New Hampshire; Peter Shumlin, Governor of Vermont; Paul LePage, Governor of Maine; Kathy Dunderdale, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador; Lincoln Chafee, Governor of Rhode Island; Pauline Marois, Premier of Québec; Dannel Malloy, Governor of Connecticut; David Alward, Premier of New Brunswick; Deval Patrick, Governor of Massachusetts; and Allen Roach, Prince Edward Island’s Minister of Innovation and Advanced Learning (photo: Roch Théroux).

The 37th Annual Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers (NEG/ECP), drew to a close Monday afternoon in La Malbaie. The meeting led to significant progress in a number of areas.

At the end of their deliberations, the participants adopted six resolutions, including the following two at Québec’s initiative:

  • Encourage the Canadian and American federal authorities to take all necessary measures to improve the safety of railway transport of hazardous materials, in order to prevent disasters like the Lac-Mégantic tragedy.
  • Increase the use of alternative fuel vehicles, favour charging/refuelling station compatibility and identify potential road corridors.

The other resolutions adopted by the NEG/ECP include the following:

  • Work toward achieving a regional 5% fleet market share penetration for alternative fuel vehicles by 2020.
  • Propose enhanced public transportation options that are more respectful of the environment.
  • Bolster public safety partnerships by identifying the constraints that could hinder cross-border mutual assistance between the states and provinces.

Climate change

According to the 1990-2011 regional greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory, the NEG/ECP region surpassed its target of reducing GHG emissions to the 1990 level in 2010 and is already close to a third of the way toward its 2020 goal.

The governors and premiers agreed on a new Regional Climate Change Action Plan that sets a target of reducing GHG emissions to 75% to 85% below the 2001 level by 2050.

Energy

The NEG/ECP members renewed their commitment to expand opportunities for renewable energy trade, recognizing the importance of ongoing efforts to ensure the region’s energy security.

The NEG/ECP is celebrating the 40th anniversary of its creation this year, and Québec called for a greater economic dimension for the organization. According to Premier Marois, “We want to get businesses more closely involved in our future activities, in order to stimulate economic trade between our provinces and states.”

The 38th Annual Conference will be held in 2014 in New Hampshire.

NEG/ECP
Resolutions adopted at the 37th Annual Conference

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