Québec, September 17, 2015 – The Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change, David Heurtel, announces that he will soon hold a consultation on a proposed greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction target in the order of 37.5% below 1990 levels by 2030, which would be the most ambitious target in all of Canada. Following today’s tabling in the National Assembly of the “Cible de réduction d’émissions de gaz à effet de serre du Québec pour 2030” white paper, parliamentary committee consultations will be held shortly in accordance with the provisions of the Environment Quality Act. The government will then be in a position to unveil its target in time for the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP-21) to be held in Paris in December, 2015.
“Québec intends to remain a leader in the fight against climate change. In addition to contributing to worldwide efforts in this area, setting an ambitious target for 2030 will help us improve the health, safety and quality of life of Quebecers and secure the sustainable development of our economy. Together, we have a collective responsibility to fight climate change and ensure a better quality of life for our children,” stated Minister Heurtel.
“The advisory committee, composed of experts in a variety of fields, is pleased to learn that the Government of Québec followed its recommendation in proposing a GHG emission reduction target in the order of 37.5% below 1990 levels. This target will position Québec among the most ambitious regions of the world in terms of GHG reduction goals and enable us to profit from opportunities that are associated with the shift toward a carbon-free economy,” affirmed Steven Guilbeault.
The Advisory committee on climate change is a stakeholder in the government’s process of reflection on preparing the consultation. Its members include authorities in a number of fields such as the environment, the economy, energy, health, public transit, construction and municipal action. “This target is consistent with the urgent need to act in the face of climate change and with our will to develop Québec in sustainable and responsible ways. The work accomplished by the committee and its vital contribution to Québec’s thinking on our post-2020 targets are simply remarkable,” added Minister Heurtel.
Co-chaired by Équiterre’s Steven Guilbeault and Hélène Lauzon from the Quebec Business Council on the Environment, the Advisory committee on climate change includes the following members: Karel Mayrand (Director General for Quebec, the David Suzuki Foundation); Philippe Bourke (Executive Director, Regroupement national des conseils régionaux de l'environnement); Suzanne Blanchet (CEO, Cascade Groupe Tissu); Bernard Sinclair-Desgagné (Tenured Professor, Chair of International Economy and Governance, HEC Montreal); Daniel Beauchamp (Executive Director, Association du transport urbain du Québec); Philippe Dunsky (President, Dunsky Energy Consulting); Marie-France Patoine, Environmental Policy Advisor, Union des municipalités du Québec); Denis Leclerc (CEO, Écotech); Christian Savard (Executive Director, Vivre en ville); Alain Webster (Vice-Rector, Sherbrooke University); François Reeves (Physician, Hôtel-Dieu hospital, Montréal); Robert Ladouceur (Executive Director, Canada Green Building Council) and Stéphanie Trudeau (Vice-President–Strategy, Communications and Sustainable Development, Gaz Métro).
In addition to securing benefits for the population of Québec that directly flow from GHG emission reductions, the 2030 target takes account of Québec’s current and historical international commitments in this field. For example, in July, Québec joined other governments that committed to reducing their GHG emissions by 80 to 95% by 2050 when it signed the Under 2 MOU Subnational Global Climate Leadership Memorandum of Understanding. In August, Québec also joined with its ten other partner states and provinces of the Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers in setting a regional GHG emission reduction target of 35 to 45% below 1990 levels by 2030.
Through these kinds of structuring actions, Québec is an active contributor to international GHG emission reduction efforts. Even though its carbon footprint is already among the smallest in North America, Québec was successful in reducing its GHG emissions by 8% in 2012, compared to 1990 levels, thus exceeding its original goal of 2% for that year. It is also worth recalling that the government, in conjunction with California, set up the biggest carbon market in North America, which Ontario will also join. “With this important tool for growing a green economy available to it, Québec intends to reach its objective of reducing its GHG emissions by 20% compared to 1990 levels, by 2020. Thanks to the Green Fund, whose revenues mainly comes from the carbon market, the government can support Québec businesses, municipalities and private citizens in transitioning to a low-carbon world that is more resilient to the impacts of climate change,” concluded Minister Heurtel.
The white paper supporting the thinking of the consultation participants is available on the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques website, at the following address: www.mddelcc.gouv.qc.ca/changementsclimatiques/consultations/cible2030/index.htm.
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