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Government announcement
23 March 2018

Quebec is working toward meeting its climate change goals

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Mid-term review of the 2013-2020 Climate Change Action Plan

QUÉBEC CITY, March 23, 2018 – On the basis of the 2017-2018 mid-term review of the 2013-2020 Climate Change Action Plan and the Inventaire québécois des émissions de gaz à effet de serre en 2015 (the Quebec inventory of 2015 greenhouse gas emissions) released today, the province is progressing toward reaching its objective of reducing GHG emissions by 20% below 1990 levels by 2020. With an overall reduction in GHG emissions of close to 9%, Quebec is nearly halfway to meeting its target. Quebec is hopeful that, thanks to its initiatives that continue to yield results, it will meet its target by 2020.

This was affirmed by Isabelle Melançon, Minister of Sustainable Development, the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change, in the company of Sylvie Chagnon, President and CEO of the Conseil de gestion du Fonds vert, as well as co-chairs of the Comité-conseil sur les changements climatiques, Hélène Lauzon and Steven Guilbeault.

Recognized worldwide as a leader in the fight against climate change, Quebec has set itself apart by releasing, in utter transparency, the results of its policies. The main findings of this review are the following:

  • The implementation of the 2013-2020 Climate Change Action Plan has already yielded numerous results; Quebec is reaping social, environmental and economic co-benefits;
  • Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Quebec have dropped. The most recent available data (from 2015) indicates that GHG emissions in Quebec have dropped by 8.8% since 1990. This drop is all the more impressive, considering that over this same period, the population increased by 18%, and the GDP by 60%;
  • Adaptation to climate change is taking place in numerous sectors, such as health, tourism and infrastructure;
  • The 2013-2020 Climate Change Action Plan has changed continuously: certain measures arising from budget enhancements were added, to take into account new government policy directions and the evolving international context, in particular.

Doing more, and doing it even better

Not only does this review highlight the importance of the initiatives implemented to date, it also presents various findings to guide the adjustments that need to be made by 2020. Over the next few months, initiatives and investments will need to be increased to accelerate the transition to a low carbon society. Certain policies will be enhanced and others added to bring about major changes.

The new federal-provincial collaboration stemming from the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change recently helped bolster Quebec’s efforts to fight climate change. As a result of this collaboration, the federal government invested $261.2M in Quebec through the Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund. In Quebec, the ÉcoPerformance program (Industry section), the Programme de biomasse forestière résiduelle residual forest biomass program, the Prime-Vert program (sealed covering of storage structures for animal waste and biogas processing section) as well as the afforestation and reforestation operations and programs of Quebec’s Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs are receiving additional financial support. Furthermore, a program for the marketing, roll-out and implementation of clean technologies leveraging the ingenuity of Quebec entrepreneurs in that regard, at the service of Quebec’s industrial sector, will be launched in the near future.

In addition, nearly $50M was directly invested in adaptation, as announced in early March by Martin Coiteux, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Land Occupancy, Minister of Public Security and Minister responsible for the Montréal region, to improve the population’s resilience to the risk of flooding, $20.5M of which will go towards updating the cartography of flood risk areas.

Priority given to transportation

The transportation sector, which accounted for 41.7% of Quebec’s emissions in 2015 (21.3% increase since 1990), will have to remain a priority area for action across Quebec. In order to reduce transportation sector GHG emissions, the government:

  • Is investing more than two thirds of the revenue generated by the carbon market in this issue;
  • Is implementing the 2015-2020 Transportation Electrification Action Plan;
  • Has enacted a zero emissions vehicle standard, the regulations of which came into effect on January 11, 2018;
  • Will launch its new sustainable mobility policy this year.

These policies are not limited to the reduction of GHG emissions on a short-term basis; they are also aimed at promoting major changes in the transportation sector.

To further results, the government is counting on the expertise acquired by the businesses, municipalities, and the ministries and organizations behind the policies of the 2013-2020 Climate Change Action Plan, as well as the support of the Comité-conseil sur les changements climatiques and the Conseil de gestion du Fonds vert.


Thanks to the ambitious action plan our government has implemented since June 2012 to meet the challenges of climate change, Quebec is now recognized worldwide as a leader in this field, and is gradually moving toward the attainment of its ambitious objectives. This mid-term review is a unique and transparent exercise and a testament to the government’s commitment to meeting our targets. It confirms the importance of our initiatives, but also the need to increase our efforts, such that our achievements not only rise to the challenges of climate change, but also live up to our capabilities and ambitions. To achieve this, everyone must do their part: businesses, municipalities and citizens. The fight against climate change hinges on profound changes in the ways we consume, travel and produce. Climate change has also forced us to prepare to face the risks to our society linked to climate change, and to adapt to them. It is only by working TOGETHER that we will succeed in rising to this challenge. Our children and future generations are counting on us. It is our duty to act now!

– Isabelle Melançon, Minister of Sustainable Development, the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change

The government can count on the Conseil de gestion du Fonds vert’s commitment to providing efficient, effective and transparent management of the Green Fund. The Conseil de gestion will make the necessary efforts to prioritize effective policies and to identify appropriate initiatives, the progression of which can be monitored regularly using significant indicators. We will not be able to meet our targets without the joint effort of the government, businesses, municipalities and residents on the path to change. To meet this challenge, we must all make a decisive shift toward low carbon mobility by changing our economy and supporting projects with great potential for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

– Sylvie Chagnon, President and CEO of the Conseil de gestion du Fonds vert

The review shows that Quebec has reduced emissions by less than 10%. It is important to maintain and enhance business assistance programs, such as the ÉcoPerformance program, so that we are able to maximize GHG reductions in Quebec.

– Hélène Lauzon, Co-chair of the Comité-conseil sur les changements climatiques

In order to maximize positive benefits for Quebec in its fight against climate change, we must pursue and even expedite the implementation of structuring measures, particularly in the areas of land-use planning, transportation and clean technologies.

– Steven Guilbeault, Co-chair of the Comité-conseil sur les changements climatiques

Key facts:

  • The Quebec government is committed to reducing GHG emissions by 20% below 1990 levels by 2020, 37.5% by 2030 and 80 to 95% by 2050. In 2022, the government will be able to verify whether Quebec has met its target for 2020.
  • Quebec has structuring tools, primarily the 2013-2020 Climate Change Action Plan, the carbon market and the Green Fund, to pursue its long-term commitment to the fight against climate change. To date, the amount allocated by the Green Fund to the implementation of the 2013-2020 Climate Change Action Plan is estimated at $3.7 billion for the period 2013-2020.
  • Fifteen ministries and government agencies are working together to implement the 2013-2020 Climate Change Action Plan. With a starting budget of $2.665 billion, it has, as of today, a budget of nearly $3.7 billion for the period 2013-2020; as of March 31, 2017, expenditures amounted to $1.4 billion.

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