Québec unveils its 2020 GHG emission reduction goal
With just a few weeks to go before the December 2009 climate
conference in Copenhagen, Québec is announcing where it stands.
With a GHG Emissions reduction target of 20% by 2020, Québec
emerges as a North American a leader in the fight against climate
Montréal, Québec Premier Jean Charest and Minister of Sustainable
Development, Environment and Parks, Line Beauchamp, today unveiled
Québec’s target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) by the
year 2020. By targeting a 20% reduction below 1990 levels, Québec
has set a goal similar to the target established by the European
Union thus becoming a leader in the fight against climate
The Premier acknowledged that achieving this target will require
an additional commitment on the part of Quebecers.
“It is a very ambitious target
for the government, given that 48% of Québec’s total energy
currently comes from renewable energy sources. We currently hold
the best GHG emissions record in Canada, which is approximately
eleven tons per capita, half of the Canadian average.”
“With a -20% target by 2020, Québec will have the smallest level
of emissions per capita in North America. The industrial sector has
also made enormous strides with an over 7% emissions reduction in
2006, compared to 1990 levels, despite the fact that Québec’s GDP
increased 41% over the same period. For Québec, achieving this
target is therefore a sound plan for a sustainable future that
everyone will be urged to endorse,” added the Premier.
In a statement issued with the announcement, the province noted
the reduction target will show flexibility from one economic
activity sector to another in accordance with the reduction
potential of each in terms of international competitiveness,
available technology and required transition measures.
The statement notes Québec has the resources necessary to make
the shift towards an economy less dependent on fossil fuels. It has
abundant sources of renewable energy, a strong potential for
technological innovation and the province is home to a number of
international corporations specialized in mass transit
Given that the transportation sector accounts for 40% of
Québec’s GHG emissions, the government has already implemented a
number of reduction initiatives in this sector.
“Through this ambitious target, Québec is
showing its partners and the international community that it is
fully committed to assuming its share of responsibility. By
continuing to demonstrate strong leadership, we hope to change the
position of the federal government leading up to the Copenhagen
Conference,” Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment
and Parks Line Beauchamp.
By 2020, additional major investments will be required to
improve the availability of mass transit options and encourage
increased use of intermodal transportation of goods. The upcoming
introduction of a GHG emission standard for light-duty vehicles,
equivalent to the California standard, will mean significant
vehicle energy performance improvements throughout the
Québec is also building on the rapid progress of electric
vehicle technologies to encourage use of electric vehicles in the
province and develop Québec’s expertise in this future sector.
Achieving the goal depends on introducing a greenhouse gas cap
and trade system in 2012. In June 2009, the province’s National
Assembly passed legislation for climate change, through
which it will contribute to implementing the largest GHG cap
and trade system in North America, currently being developed with
partners of the Western Climate Initiative.
Premier Charest said these actions will set the stage for a
flourishing green economy by the year 2020 and will gradually
reduce Québec’s economic dependence on foreign oil. It will also
soften the economic impact of the anticipated oil crisis in the
decades to come and improve Québec’s trade balance.
The Premier had a strong message for the federal government when
he unveiled the Québec’s position. Quoted in a Globe and Mail
article he said at a news conference after his
announcement “There’s the threat of economic reprisals if we
don’t follow the path being set in Copenhagen. This is real, this
is not fiction. … Our economy rest on exports and on natural
resources. For us, the consequences would be very serious.”
The Premier will co-chair the Third Leaders Summit in Copenhagen
along with South Australia Premier Mike Rann.