Climate change: Quebec risks missing its GHG target

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Quebec must restructure its economic system by initiating a “just ecological transition” if it does not want to miss its target for reducing greenhouse gases.

A study by the Institute for Socioeconomic Research and Information (IRIS), unveiled Thursday in Montreal, indicates that Quebec will not meet its GHG reduction targets.

IRIS noted an increase in emissions in 2018 compared to 2017 when the GHG reduction threshold was only 8.7% compared to 1990.

However, the Quebec plan to fight against climate change is counting on a reduction of 20% for 2020 compared to 1990, or 69.4 million tonnes (Mt) of CO2 equivalent, with an ambition to increase this threshold to 37.5%. by 2030.

Such a target, although it is one of the most ambitious in Canada, remains lower than what is prescribed by the IPCC to limit global warming, i.e. a reduction in emissions between 41.9 and 52.7%, detailed researchers Julia Posca and Bertrand Schepper, co-authors of the brochure “What is the just transition?”

Quebec had rejected last February the suggestion of NGOs that had encouraged the government to increase its target for 2030 to 65%. The Minister of the Environment had rejected such an avenue, claiming to want to make a “just transition”.

“If the government wants to achieve its targets, Quebec must give a major boost,” said Julia Posca in a press release on Thursday. “We will not get there for 2020. That is why we must act quickly for 2030,” she recommended.

Although it is the least polluting province in the country, Quebec produces almost twice as much CO2 per capita than the world average, according to the authors of the study.

Researchers point to polluting industries, including pulp and paper, pesticide and fertilizer manufacturing, and petroleum and coal product manufacturing.

“It is urgent to transform the industrial structure of Quebec to get out of polluting industries while reorienting the workers affected”, alerted Bertrand Shepper.

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