The Verif: Is the CAQ on track to meet its GHG reduction targets?

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La Vérif  : is the CAQ on track to achieve its GHG reduction objectives?

GHG emissions in the transport sector have increased by 35% between 1990 and 2019 in Quebec.

Candidates in the electoral campaign participated in the various marches on the climate which took place on Friday in several cities of the province. Each party is setting its target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but is Quebec on track to achieve its objectives?

We will reduce GHGs by 37.5% by 2030, then 100% by 2050, said chief caquist François Legault in a press briefing on Friday.

But when we look at the state of play, the Coalition avenir Québec is not on the right track to achieve its objectives. GHG emissions have been on the rise for several years.

CAQ leader François Legault says his party has a “realistic” plan to reduce GHG emissions by 37.5% by 2030.

In 2015, Quebec emitted approximately 81 megatonnes of CO2 equivalent (Mt CO2 eq.). This rose to 84 megatonnes in 2019, an increase of 4.2%.

There was a significant drop in total GHG emissions in 2020, but it was largely attributable to the economic downturn that was caused by the pandemic.

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The objective of the Quebec Ministry of the Environment was to reduce its GHG emissions by 20% compared to 1990 levels, the reference year for climate targets.

In 2019, Quebec instead reduced its emissions by 2.7%, indicate the most recent data available at the provincial level.

And, according to the most recent update of the Plan for a green economy 2030, the actions planned by Quebec make it possible to achieve 51% of the 2030 target.

This therefore means that the government has not yet determined or funded initiatives for almost half of what should be eliminated as GHG emissions.

There will therefore be a lot of effort to be made if the CAQ wants to reduce GHGs by 37.5%, and more on the part of the Liberals, PQs and Solidaires who have even more ambitious targets.

Since 1990, GHG emissions have decreased by 23% in the industrial sector and by 25% in the residential and commercial sector (mainly due to heating).

As for automobiles, their numbers have increased on our roads, but their total emissions have fallen by 17%. This is due to the renewal of the vehicle fleet, with small vehicles that consume less and less energy.

The picture is quite different with regard to light trucks, a category that includes vans, pickups and sport utility vehicles. Their sales have practically quadrupled since 1990 and their emissions have increased by 158%.

It should be noted that Quebec is in a better position than the other Canadian provinces in terms of its total GHG emissions. . In 2019, the Quebec share of emissions in the country represented 11.5%. Ontario accounted for 22.3% of the Canadian total… and Alberta, 37.7% of the national total.

Besides, Quebecers are first in the country when it comes to lowest GHG emission rate, i.e. 9.9 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per capita.

With the collaboration of Olivier Bachand and Nathalie Lemieux

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