Green Economy Plan: Quebec chooses transport and industry

Quebec’s Minister for the Environment and Combating Climate Change, Benoit Charette, callsextremely ambitious Quebec’s greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target of 37.5% compared to 1990 levels.

However, compared to this reference year, Quebec is currently below 3% of its target: fois – en matière de réduction de GES – ce qu’on a réussi à faire en 32ans, a expliqué Benoit Charette. Le défi est colossal”,”text”:”En huit ans, c’est ce qui nous sépare de 2030, il faudra faire plus de 12fois – en matière de réduction de GES – ce qu’on a réussi à faire en 32ans, a expliqué Benoit Charette. Le défi est colossal”}}”>In eight years, which separates us from 2030, we will have to achieve more than twelve times – in terms of GHG reduction – what we have achieved in 32 years, explained Benoit Charette. The challenge is colossal.

In the budget associated with this 2022-2027 implementation plan, Quebec is allocating the bulk, nearly $3.5 billion, to reducing the carbon footprint of transportation. This sector accounts for more than 43% of Quebec’s emissions.

The Legault government is also providing more than $2.1 billion to accelerate the green transition of industries and buildings. Quebec is investing nearly $758 million to make buildings more energy efficient.

For the industrial sector alone, investment will reach $1.34 billion, double the level in 2020, when the Coalition avenir Québec (CAQ) government’s first implementation plan was launched.

At a press conference on Thursday, Minister Charette was accompanied by Ministers for Transport and Energy and Natural Resources, respectively, François Bonnardel and Jonatan Julien.

For every dollar we invest, we need to look at the efficiency it offers in terms of reducing greenhouse gases. […¸]We must select the most compelling investments that will deliver the most results. »

A quote from Jonatan Julien, Minister for Energy and Natural Resources

% des gestes à poser pour atteindre la cible de réduction des émissions de gaz à effet de serre à l’horizon2030″,”text”:”Le Québec a désormais défini et financé 51% des gestes à poser pour atteindre la cible de réduction des émissions de gaz à effet de serre à l’horizon2030″}}”>Québec has now defined and funded 51% of the actions needed to meet its 2030 greenhouse gas emissions reduction targetsays the Legault government.

It’s about % par rapport à la proportion de 42%”,”text”:”d’une augmentation de 9% par rapport à la proportion de 42%”}}”>a 9% increase from the 42% share established in 2020.

electrify traffic

The Quebec government wants to accelerate the electrification of schools and public transport.

Minister Bonnardel recalled the investment of 5 billion US dollars for the purchase of 1,200 city buses announced by François Legault at COP26 last November.

Transport Minister François Bonnardel

Photo: Radio Canada / Ivanoh Demers

For 2021-2022, autobus scolaires qui ont été commandés chez nos fournisseurs”,”text”:”ce sont 906autobus scolaires qui ont été commandés chez nos fournisseurs”}}”>906 school buses were ordered from our suppliersadded François Bonnardel, pointing to the extension of the blue line of the Montreal Metro, among other measures to reduce pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from transport.

In its own vehicle fleet, which includes just over 1,700 electric vehicles, the Legault government is pursuing the goal of electrifying:

  • all of its 18,000 light vehicles by 2030;
  • 25% of its vans by 2030;
  • 100% of heavy vehicles by 2040.

No additional tax

But the Legault government has refrained from punishing citizens for polluting behavior, as demanded by environmental groups and opposition parties. The plan, unveiled on Thursday, does not include an additional tax on purchases of large vehicles such as sport utility vehicles (SUVs).

According to Minister Charette Quebecers are already paying for their more “emissive” actions, if only through the price of gas at the pump.

We don’t work to punish, on the contrary, we want to mobilize Quebecers. »

A quote from Benoit Charette, Minister for the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change

A decision sharply denounced by Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, parliamentary leader of Québec solidaire, during a press conference. That makes no sensehe explained.

Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, Speaker of Quebec Solidaire Parliament.

Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois of Quebec Solidaire

Photo: Radio Canada / Sylvain Roy Roussel

In Quebec we should apply the polluter pays principle, the supporting MP scoffed. What Benoit Charette tells us is that he will apply the polluter pays principle.

It is not a government geared towards fighting climate changefor his part, criticized Sylvain Gaudreault, spokesman for the Parti Québécois (PQ) on the environment and the fight against climate change.

Gaudreault. […] La vraie personne qui doit prendre les décisions, c’est le premier ministre et, visiblement, il n’est pas au rendez-vous.”,”text”:”Ce n’est pas vrai que ça dépend que du ministre de l’Environnement, a poursuivi M.Gaudreault. […] La vraie personne qui doit prendre les décisions, c’est le premier ministre et, visiblement, il n’est pas au rendez-vous.”}}”>It is not true that only the Minister for the Environment matters, Mr Gaudreault continued. […] The real person who has to make the decisions is the Prime Minister and obviously he’s not there.

Half a plan, criticizes Greenpeace

Greenpeace Canada climate-energy campaigner Patrick Bonin sayshe is rebellious that the Legault government, after more than three years in power, is not proposing anything % de la cible en 2030″,”text”:”qu’un demi-plan qui permettra d’atteindre à peine 50% de la cible en 2030″}}”>more than half a plan, making it possible to achieve just under 50% of the target by 2030. However, that goal is already there largely insufficienthe believes.

Of further subsidize the industrywhile the latter, on the contrary, should pay for the reduction of their emissions, is clearly not acceptableclaims Mr Bonin further.

He is sitting in front of a microphone and looking ahead.

Patrick Bonin, Climate Energy Activist for Greenpeace Canada

Photo: Radio Canada / Étienne Côté-Paluck

The Greenpeace official argues that the Legault government would prefer to spend $1 billion on transport electrification when it would cost them nothing if they instead introduced a bonus-malus intended to discourage the purchase of more energy-intensive vehicles.

The government is handing out gifts to industry and not tightening the screws enough. »

A quote from Patrick Bonin, Climate Energy Activist at Greenpeace Canada

As for vehicle dealers and manufacturers, Mr Bonin continues, should the government do so force them to put electric vehicles on the road and significantly tighten their draft zero-emission vehicle regulations.

Helping industrial sectors reduce their carbon footprint is a good idea, says Marc-André Viau, director of government relations at Équiterre, as they are among the top emitters of greenhouse gases. The problem is that apparently we undressed Pierre to dress Paulhe said.

We recently learned that we were removing public transport subsidies, subsidies that came from the carbon market. And there we seem to be taking them and giving them to the industry. You must do both! »

A quote from Marc-André Viau, Director of Government Relations at Équiterre

%”,”text”:”On a l’impression que le ministre fait les choses à moitié, et c’est pour ça qu’il arrive à 50%”}}”>We have the impression that the minister does things by halves and therefore comes to 50%he complains.

For its part, Réseau Environnement calls on the Legault government to count and disseminate greenhouse gas inventory data faster and more frequently. It is necessary to allow an annual follow-up of the funds allocated for this purposeclaims this group of environmental specialists in Quebec.

In addition, on the day the government plan was unveiled, the Quebec Liberal Party introduced a bill proposing to include the right to a healthy environment in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

We are in a climate emergency, say all the experts. It is more important than ever to take actions that compel current and future decision makers to act accordingly.said MEP Isabelle Melançon, who presented the bill.

With information from Elisa Serret

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