ON THE ROAD TO COPENHAGEN:
Québec, December 7, 2009 – Québec Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks Line Beauchamp today announced grants for the Association québécoise de lutte contre la pollution atmosphérique, Regroupement national des conseils régionaux de l’environnement du Québec and the Institut national de santé publique du Québec. These grants will make possible four awareness projects aimed at sensitizing Québecers to the importance of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the fight against climate change. These grants, announced on opening day of the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference in which Québec is a participant, represent important investments in keeping with Québec’s commitment to the fight against climate change.
Faites de l’air!
Minister Beauchamp announced a grant of $3 M to the Association québécoise de lutte contre la pollution atmosphérique (AQLPA) to enhance its Faites de l’air! program, which is the Québec component of the Canadian vehicle-recycling program known as Retire Your Ride.
This program offers citizens the possibility of retiring their old, polluting vehicles built in or prior to 1995 in exchange for public transit passes or rebates on car sharing service fees. Québec’s grant to AQLPA makes exchanging an old polluting vehicle for a sustainable transport option even more attractive since it will mean raising the value of incentives available to participants in the program. In particular, owners that give up their old vehicles can benefit from 15 months’ worth of public transport passes or $600 applicable to a contact with car sharing organizations like Communauto. The goal is to render incentives sufficiently attractive to get owners of old vehicles interested in “getting into gear.”
“The AQLPA initiative targets improving air quality and fighting climate change, and we are happy to support it. Citizens must support our government’s efforts if we are to reach the GHG emission reduction objectives set by Québec for 2012 and 2020. Reducing single-passenger vehicle use and replacing it with alternative transportation solutions is a key part of this citizen-based action,” said the Minister, who also made the point that vehicles recovered through this program will be recycled according to environmental best practices.
Québec also granted $785,000 in financial assistance to the Regroupement national des conseils régionaux de l’environnement du Québec (RNCREQ) to extend its Défi climat climate mobilization campaign to all of Québec’s regions. Originally targeting only Montréal and Québec City, the campaign has already mobilized more than 290 companies and institutions and reached 250,000 people since it was launched in 2008. Because of this new government support, all of Quebec’s citizens will now be invited to be a part of Défi climat and take concrete, daily action to reduce their GHG emissions.
Consultation on Québec’s dependence on oil
Québec is providing the RNCREQ with an additional grant in the amount of $450,000 to organize a regional consultation on reducing Québec’s dependence on oil. The project’s aim is to elicit reflection by regional decision-makers on how Québec can decrease its consumption of petroleum products and increase its energy independence without affecting economic development. Energy efficiency, producing renewable energy and reducing the consumption of fossil fuel for heating and transportation will be at the core of the reflection process.
Monitoring Québec’s air quality in relation to climate change
In the context of the 2006-2012 Climate Change Action Plan, the ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs is consolidating its network of climate and air quality monitoring stations in order to adequately quantify current trends and the magnitude of climate change that is already under way as well as their repercussions on air quality and human health.
As part of this program, the government has granted an amount of $860,000 to the Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ) for a joint project of monitoring Québec air quality from a public health standpoint.
In the view of Minister Beauchamp, these four initiatives clearly demonstrate that Québecers are mobilizing to make a significant contribution to seeking solutions in the fight against climate change. “Québec is currently well-positioned among the leaders of the fight against climate change. Moreover, on behalf of all Québec citizens, the government has just committed to reducing the province’s GHG emissions by 20% below 1990 levels by the year 2020. I would remind you that this target is the most ambitious in North America. Today’s announcements help us move forward toward reaching our goal,” the Minister concluded.
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