Quebec eyes construction changes to meet high climate goals
The Quebec government has set itself a goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by a whopping 37.5% by the year 2030.
This follows a similar announcement by Ontario this summer, which has set a goal of a 37% reduction.
In a news announcement on September 17, Quebec’s Minister of the Environment, David Heurtel, said that construction, along with transportation, were the key sectors where they want to see emissions reduced. For example, he told the National Assembly that they will encourage people to use geothermal heating and cooling.
They will also encourage people to take public transit and buy electric cars. In Quebec, which generates most of its power from hydroelectric sources, electricity is “clean.”
Heurtel said “there is an urgency to act. Ninety per cent of the science clearly tells us that if we allow a two-degree warming we’ll face cataclysmic changes across the planet.”
Quebec’s 37.5% emissions reduction goal is the highest in Canada. However, In an article in the Montreal Gazette on September 17, Steven Guilbeault of Equiterre pointed out that at the same time as it promises greenhouse gas reductions, Quebec is investigating developing hydrocarbon resources such as shale gas extraction and searching for oil on Anticosti Island.
Guilbeault discounted concerns that reducing emissions would have a downside: “Many Scandinavian countries are like us: same standard of living, a very similar economy, very similar weather conditions, but their level of emissions is 50 per cent lower than in Quebec, the smallest polluter in Canada. I don’t think the Swedes are 50 per cent less happy. I don’t adhere to this notion that polluting less means sacrificing.”
Quebec already has a cap-and-trade system for reducing emissions and Ontario is to introduce one.
The UN conference on climate change scheduled for November 30 in Paris is where Quebec will present its new emission targets.
The federal government has said it wants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 14% below 1990 levels by 2030.
to read the article in the Montreal Gazette, click here.
To read an article about Ontario’s greenhouse gas reduction plans, click here.