While Prime Minister François Legault will speak on the environment at the United Nations in New York this week, voices are being raised within environmental groups to emphasize that Quebec must do more in the fight against climate change.
The head of Greenpeace Canada’s Climate-Energy campaign, Patrick Bonin, is surprised that the Premier of Quebec has been invited to speak at the Climate Ambition Summit.
“It is clear that all the work and its results do not make Quebec a climate leader. (…) Emissions are increasing in transportation. Emissions in the industry are not decreasing either,” she maintains.
Prime Minister Legault was invited by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to attend the United Nations General Assembly and participate in the first Climate Ambition Summit to be held on Wednesday.
“We are more in the time of beautiful parades and displays. We are about to propose additional measures and that is what we want Mr. Legault to do,” says Patrick Bonin.
Towards a more ambitious goal?
Currently, Quebec’s goal is to reduce its GHG by 37.5% by 2030. According to the Quebec head of the Canadian Climate Action Network, Leïla Cantave, Quebec must revise its goal upwards.
“This data is based on the 2015 IPCC recommendations. What you have to do is update this reduction target. We, in the Climate Action Network, ask for 65%,” explains the woman who is also present in New York to pressure political leaders.
“If you look at emissions in Quebec, they are not reducing drastically and quickly. Quebec is not on track to reach its 2030 goal,” says Patrick Bonin of Greenpeace.
Quebec also aims to be carbon neutral by 2050.
Bonin still acknowledges that Quebec has some good achievements under its belt in the fight against climate change.
He gives the example of the incorporation of terminals for electric vehicles or the end of the exploration and exploitation of oil and gas.
Added to this is the rejection of the LNG Quebec project in Saguenay, as well as the abandonment of the third highway link between Quebec and Lévis.
“But we are far from being prepared at this level, that’s for sure,” he maintains.
François Legault and the Minister of the Environment, Benoit Charette – who accompanies him – will present Quebec’s main orientations in the fight against climate change and will participate in a round table with members of the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance (BOGA) , of which Quebec is a part.
Prime Minister Legault’s presence at the United Nations is a first step ahead of the 28th UN Climate Conference of the Parties (COP 28), which will be held from November 30 to December 12 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates .
The Climate Ambition Summit honors leaders from states, civil society and businesses who are “leaders in implementing credible and concrete measures aimed at achieving the 1.5 degrees Celsius goal of the Paris Agreement and bringing climate justice to those most affected.” due to the climate crisis”, we can read in an explanatory document from the United Nations.