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.
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.