Quebec is not a “climate leader,” says Greenpeace

While Prime Minister François Legault will speak about the environment at the United Nations in New York this week, voices are being raised within environmental groups to emphasize that Quebec must do more in the fight against climate change.

The head of the Climate-Energy campaign at Greenpeace Canada, Patrick Bonin, says he is surprised that the Quebec Prime Minister was invited to speak at the Climate Ambition Summit.

“The entire work and its results clearly do not make Quebec a climate leader. […] Emissions are increasing in transport. Emissions in industry are not decreasing either,” he maintains.

Prime Minister Legault was invited by Secretary General Antonio Guterres to attend the United Nations General Assembly and participate in the first Summit on Climate Ambition which will be held on Wednesday.

“We are more in time for beautiful parades and flaunting. We are about to propose additional measures and that is what we want to see from Mr. Legault,” says Patrick Bonin.

Towards a more ambitious target?

Currently, Quebec’s objective is to reduce its GHGs by 37.5% by 2030. According to the person responsible for Quebec for the Climate Action Network Canada, Leïla Cantave, Quebec must revise its target upwards.

“This data is based on IPCC recommendations from 2015. What he has to do is update this reduction target. We, at the Climate Action Network, are asking for 60%,” explains the woman who is also present in New York to put pressure on political decision-makers.

“If we look at emissions in Quebec, they are not being reduced drastically and quickly. Quebec is not on track to achieve its 2030 target,” says Patrick Bonin of Greenpeace.

Quebec is also aiming for carbon neutrality by 2050.

Mr. Bonin still recognizes that Quebec has some good achievements to its credit in the fight against climate change.

He gives the example of the addition of terminals for electric vehicles or the end of oil and gas exploration and exploitation.

He adds to this the rejection of the LNG Quebec project in Saguenay as well as the abandonment of the third highway link between Quebec and Lévis.

“But we are far from being ready at this level, that’s for sure,” he maintains.

François Legault and his Minister of the Environment, Benoit Charette – who is accompanying him to New York – will present Quebec’s main directions in the fight against climate change and will participate in a round table with members of Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance (BOGA), of which Quebec is a part.

The presence of Prime Minister Legault at the United Nations is a first step before the 28e UN Climate Conference of the Parties (COP 28), which will take place from November 30 to December 12 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

The Climate Ambition Summit honors the leaders of states, civil society and businesses who are “leaders in implementing credible and concrete measures aimed at achieving the objective of 1 .5 degrees Celsius of the Paris Agreement and to bring climate justice to those hit hard by the climate crisis,” reads a United Nations explanatory document.

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