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“The market” will determine Northvolt’s impact on GHG reduction, says Charette

Photo: Jacques Boissinot The Canadian Press “When [Northvolt] is at full capacity, assessments speak of 2.5 to 3 megatons [of reduction in greenhouse gas emissions], but not necessarily in Quebec. It’s in North America,” Minister Benoit Charette told journalists.

Quebec Minister of the Environment, Benoit Charette, admits to ignoring the repercussions of the Northvolt Six “gigafactory” project on the achievement of Quebec's climate targets. “The market will determine it,” he said Wednesday.

“When the company is at full capacity, evaluations speak of 2.5 to 3 megatons [of reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions], but not necessarily in Quebec. It’s in North America,” the CAQ representative told the parliamentary press.

He was reacting to the revelations of Devoiraccording to which the Ministry of the Environment is not able to produce reports or data demonstrating that Northvolt will be beneficial in achieving Quebec's objectives in the fight against climate change. In an email exchange, the ministry put the project's “contribution” at 1.25 million tonnes per year, but provided no documentation to support its assumption.

Called earlier this month to say why Northvolt had the privilege of bypassing the assessment process of the Office of Public Hearings on the Environment, Mr. Charette said that the arrival of the Swedish developer in Quebec “help[ed] achieve our decarbonization objectives”.

“It will help with the decarbonization of the continent – ​​in Quebec as well – but the percentage, the ratio, we have never embarked on that,” specified the elected official of François Legault’s government on Wednesday. He is also not able to say what part of the batteries produced by Northvolt in its Montérégie factory would be sold in Quebec.

“It is the market which will determine where the vehicles are sold,” Mr. Charette said on Wednesday. But we know that on the North American continent we have among the rules, if not the strictest ZEV [zero-emission vehicle] rule. So, manufacturers will prefer to send their vehicles to Quebec to comply. »

The ZEV standard in Quebec aims to encourage sales of electric automobiles by manufacturers. For them, each sale is associated with credits which then allow them, cumulatively, to avoid paying a royalty or which can be sold to the highest bidder.

“Waving a big green flag”

The co-spokesperson for Québec solidaire, Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois, questions the minister's comments on the decarbonization potential of the Northvolt project.

“The CAQ must stop waving a big green flag when it comes to talking about Northvolt and must have a transparent approach, where they tell us how they are going to have economic benefits, how they are going to reduce GES, how we are going to ensure that this project is good for Quebec,” he said during a press briefing at the Parliament Building on Wednesday.

The leader of the Parti Québécois, Paul St-Pierre Plamondon, also does not see a “link” between Northvolt and the reduction of GHG emissions. “When we want to decarbonize, what we need to do is change the way each of our economic sectors operate. And it has nothing to do with the introduction of a new industry,” he said on Wednesday.

“We believe in it, at Northvolt, but we must respect our environmental rules, then the processes must be respected,” added the interim leader of the Liberal Party of Quebec, Marc Tanguay.< /p>

With Alexandre Robillard

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116