Green realism or lack of courage?

Even if the caquists stop for a few shots when it comes to the environment, they don’t want to impress the gallery with new forecasts that would be difficult to achieve. Kudos for the realism. But you could also go further.

• Also read: Bulletins of the week in the National Assembly

In an interview with our Parliament office ahead of the presentation of the new version of his green economy plan, Minister Benoit Charette stressed the “unprecedented” nature of his “rigorous” approach.

His government has so far identified and budgeted actions to achieve 51% of its greenhouse gas reduction target by 2030.

Just over a year ago, 42% of resources had been targeted.

If it continues to grow at just over 6% a year, Quebec could hit the target, even under the leadership of a government that continues to draw ire over the environment and biodiversity protection.

The CAQ has a knack for raising skepticism.

She appeared before the electorate in 2018 without a real green plan.

On the same day that the environment minister unveiled his new measures on Thursday, a new standard came into effect in Quebec, allowing more nickel to be released into the air every day.

And it’s a bit funny to see that Benoit Charette, reciting his vision like a priest reciting Sunday Mass on autopilot, is the one who embodies the idea of ​​some dynamism in the matter.

methodical

However, the approach is methodical. Quebec is building its plan brick by brick by quantifying the cost of the measures it is putting in place.

“Like a budget,” says the minister, who has to convince and involve his colleagues, especially from the economics and finance departments.

Then he does not try to restore his green image with spectacular forecasts.

Even if the CAQ government allocates 1.3 billion to transform our factories’ processes, Charette cautiously estimates that this will result in a reduction of 5.6 Mt.

If he puts on the same rose-colored glasses as the federal government, especially with regard to the contribution of greener aluminum in the coming years, the CAQ could already further embellish his implementation plan.

It must also be said that the CAQ government has launched public transit projects totaling US$55 billion over 10 years.

And that the gradual conversion of the bus fleet to electric vehicles at the turn of the year 2025/2026 will be particularly profitable.

eco tax

But there certainly is an impression that Quebecers would be willing to go further, so clear is the climate emergency.

Benoit Charette completely rejects the idea of ​​a new tax on big car purchases.

Perhaps because, during its first term, the CAQ pledged not to increase fares or taxes by more than inflation.

In an interview, the minister does not mention this commitment, but claims that Quebecers who opt for a more energy-intensive vehicle are already largely paying their share with taxes on gasoline at the pump.

It’s also true that families are already being hit hard by inflation.

“I need people’s support all the time,” he said.

But as time goes by, reaching final GHG reduction percentages in Quebec will become more difficult.

I don’t see how we can achieve this without introducing more green taxes.

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