To succeed in the climate transition and stay on course towards achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, all sectors of Quebec’s economic and industrial life will have to reduce their environmental footprint by adopting emerging technologies and new ways of doing things. With the injection of $2.1 billion over the next five years in the areas of industry and construction, the Green Economy 2030 Plan will act as a real accelerator for change.
In Quebec, as everywhere in the world, the production and distribution of products and services leave a measurable environmental footprint that threatens our planet. However, the economy of tomorrow, to be set in motion without delay, must be low in carbon and rely on circularity to considerably reduce the exploitation of new resources. It is the realization of this profound transformation, which is based on innovation and the development of clean technologies, which will contribute to building an economy that is both sustainable and prosperous.
With this in mind, the Plan for a Green Economy 2030 focuses on the electrification of the economy and the use of renewable energies in all sectors of activity in Quebec. Bioenergy and green hydrogen, in particular, will contribute to achieving the GHG emission reduction target and to the emergence of promising economic sectors, creating specialized jobs.
Betting on alternative energies
The fight against climate change, which relies in large part on electrification, inevitably puts pressure on the Québec network. The deployment of new energy sectors is essential to accelerate the transition when electrification is not possible or proves to be too costly. The Quebec Green Hydrogen and Bioenergy Strategy supports the development of new solutions – complementary to electrification – aimed at decarbonizing Quebec, especially in the industrial sector. The use of green hydrogen and bioenergies will notably make it easier to manage electricity demand in a context where the gradual abandonment of fossil fuels will result in increased pressure on Québec’s hydroelectric network. An envelope of $5.2 million is provided for in the 2022-2027 Implementation Plan of the 2030 Green Economy Plan to fund research in these promising areas.
In addition to the considerable sums that the Québec government will devote to reducing GHG emissions over the next few years, several initiatives have been put in place to support major economic players. The Bioenergy and EcoPerformance programs can support them in the acquisition of clean technologies, while the Technoclimat program supports them in the development of technologies of the future. The Support Program for the Production of Renewable Natural Gas, for its part, provides $47.5 million, spread over five years, for the realization of projects focusing on this clean energy, resulting in particular from the recovery of organic waste. Its gradual injection into the current gas distribution network, replacing natural gas of fossil origin, will contribute to a marked reduction in GHG emissions.
Responsible for more than 29% of GHG emissions in Quebec, the industrial sector must rely on new technologies to end its dependence on fossil fuels.
To coordinate actions strategically
The Government of Quebec has also chosen to invest in the development of new economic sectors devoted to various innovative projects relating to the electrification of transportation and the development of clean energies. The battery sector, for example, aims to exploit and transform minerals taken from Quebec soil to manufacture key components such as anodes and cathodes, essential for the manufacture of electric vehicles. The green hydrogen sector, for its part, relies on the development of this clean energy, produced with water, electricity or biomass.
Training at the heart of the transition
The fight against climate change has already begun to transform the labor market, and this trend will increase as the development of new technologies accelerates. To meet the challenges of decarbonization and adaptation to a changing climate, Québec society will need an increased number of workers specialized in emerging fields. The Plan for a Green Economy 2030 intends to support companies in the development of skilled workers by supporting the creation of new training courses – vocational, technical, university or lifelong – in strategic niches. This is what will enable them to respond to the new imperatives of a rapidly changing market and to meet the challenges that the introduction of new low-carbon technologies will inevitably present in our economy.
REDUCE, RENEW, RECYCLE
This content was produced by Le Devoir’s special publications team in collaboration with the advertiser. Le Devoir’s editorial team had no role in the production of this content.