Benoit Charette wants to hit his targets without hurting Quebecers too much | COP15
The Minister of the Environment intends to take advantage of COP15 to make announcements on biodiversity.
Minister Benoit Charette, in interview at the “Behind the scenes of power »
Premier François Legault said in his opening speech Wednesday at the National Assembly that he wants Quebec to become one of the first administrations in the world to achieve carbon neutrality.
This is an ambitious project, some would even say unattainable, since the province has fallen behind in achieving the targets it had set for 2020. Moreover, it found only half of the measures to recommend to reduce its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 37.5% compared to 1990 levels by 2030.
I won't hide it from you, we have a big challenge. We have a fairly steep climb to climb, admitted the Minister of the Environment, the Fight against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks, Benoit Charette, in an interview with Coulisses du Pouvoir >.
GHG emissions in Quebec have been increasing for several years. They amounted to 84.3 megatons last year. With the 2020 data to be released in a few days, Benoit Charette will have a clearer picture to announce new measures in the spring.
“When we launched the green economy plan just over two years ago, 42% of the work to be done had been identified. […] So the objective is to increase and add percentages each year to be at 100%. »
— Benoit Charette, Quebec Minister of the Environment, the Fight Against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks
The Minister of the Environment recognizes that behavioral changes will be required from citizens and companies, but during the interview, he was careful not to mention any constraint whatsoever.
The Legault government does not hide the fact that it is banking on the electrification of businesses and transport. He also wants to strengthen the standard for zero-emission vehicles.
This means that there are obligations, especially for manufacturers, to make more electric vehicles available within a reasonable timeframe, explained Minister Charette.
He rejects for the moment any recourse to the imposition of a tax on the purchase of an energy-guzzling car, as advocated by his opponents from Québec solidaire during the election campaign. Officials from the former Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources are considering this option, however, as well as the imposition of a kilometer tax which would replace the tax on gasoline used in part to pay for infrastructure costs. .
Benoit Charette believes that such constraints would have a dissuasive effect on the population. If we demobilize them with the stroke of a ruler on the fingers, I will not be able to mobilize the whole of society so that we can look in the same direction, he says.
Members of the National Assembly will be entitled in early 2023 to training on climate change offered by the chief scientist of Quebec, Rémi Quirion, and the Ouranos organization. The motion presented by the Minister of the Environment on Friday was adopted unanimously.
Issues related to climate change and environmental protection are taking up more and more space, and elected officials must have a minimum of information on this subject in order to ultimately take decisions that are informed, noted Mr. Charette.
Montreal will host the UN conference on biodiversity starting Wednesday. Thousands of representatives from countries around the world will seek to establish a 10-year plan to, among other things, protect 30% of land and sea areas globally and restore at least 20% of degraded ecosystems.
Quebec has not updated its list of endangered species since 2009. And the committee responsible for making recommendations has not been consulted by the government for five years.
Minister Charette admits it, but replies that he will take advantage of the international event to make announcements on this subject. Protecting biodiversity is an important facet of protecting the planet in his eyes.
“C&# x27;It is a lot through nature that we will also succeed, whether it is to capture carbon, whether it is to put in place elements that effectively fight against climate change.
—Benoit Charette, Quebec Minister of the Environment, the Fight Against Climate Change, Wildlife and Parks