Québec adopts most ambitious greenhouse gas reduction target in Canada

QUÉBEC CITY, Nov. 27, 2015  – The government of Québec has announced a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction target of 37.5% below 1990 levels by 2030, the most ambitious reduction target in Canada.

Québec Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change, David Heurtel, announced the government’s decision just a few days away from the Paris Climate Conference where a new global climate agreement will be negotiated,

“The target we are announcing today is consistent with the urgency to act and our desire to develop Québec in a sustainable and responsible manner, ” said the Minister.

“It also reflects the constructive comments made by the groups and individuals that participated in public consultations during which consensus on the need for rapid, concerted action was evident. We know that the cost of inaction will greatly exceed the cost of investments that will be required to reduce GHG emissions and adapt to the consequences of climate change.”

“Québec must seize this opportunity so that, together, we can fight climate change and ensure a quality of life for our children. Let’s do it for them,” said Minister Heurtel.

An exemplary contribution to the global effort

Québec is among the most active federated states in North America. With one of the continent’s lowest carbon footprints, Québec is already making a positive contribution to global efforts to fight climate change.

Over the past 15 years, it has adopted ambitious targets and devised the means to achieve them, especially through the creation of the Green Fund. As a result, Québec succeeded in reducing its GHG emissions by 8% below 1990 levels in 2012, exceeding the reduction objective it had set for that period by 2%.

Québec has set an even more ambitious objective for 2020: reducing its GHG emissions by 20% below their 1990 levels. In order to achieve this, Québec has implemented a series of measures that include the carbon market, which spearheads the government’s climate change action.

All revenue from the carbon market is paid into the Green Fund to finance the implementation of measures contained in the 2013-2020 Climate Change Action Plan in order to optimize benefits for Québec society.

By 2020, 3.3 billion dollars will have been invested in Québec to support companies, municipalities and citizens in their transition to a low-carbon world that is better adapted to the consequences of climate change.

By adopting a 37.5% reduction target, Québec is keeping the commitment it made alongside the 10 other partners of the Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers (NEG/ECP) to reach a regional GHG emissions reduction target of 35-45% below 1990 levels by 2030.

The target also places Québec on the GHG emissions reduction path recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) for industrialized countries, which was adopted by the Under2MOU Global Climate Leadership Memorandum of Agreement that Québec signed in July with other governments that have pledged to reduce their GHG emissions by 80-95% by 2050.

A vast social project

In order to raise the awareness of Quebecers about climate change issues and encourage people to take action, the Québec government recently launched the “Let’s Do it for Them” social campaign, referring to the need to act for the benefit of our children and future generations. The website address is: www.letsdoitforthem.gouv.qc.ca.

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