QUÉBEC, March 21, 2019 /CNW Telbec/ - If we are to meet the major climate change challenge, the government must take meaningful action. Fighting climate change must be seen as an opportunity for Québec to attract investments, export its green technologies, innovate and electrify our economy, particularly the transportation sector.
To continue our environmental efforts, Budget 2019-2020 provides nearly $1.3 billion in additional funding over six years.
The new actions to be taken in the medium and long terms are in addition to the measures already in place. Concretely, the government is announcing:
- the study, under the 2019-2029 Québec Infrastructure Plan (QIP), of major structuring public transit projects in Montréal East and Longueuil, as well as the construction of a metropolitan network of dedicated lanes;
- a $465-million enhancement of the 2013-2020 Climate Change Action Plan (2013-2020 CCAP) to encourage sustainable transportation, including $434 million to extend the Drive Green program;
- $410 million to support businesses in their energy transition process;
- $320 million for decontamination of strategically located sites to be developed for innovative businesses;
- $100 million to improve management of residual materials, such as plastic and glass, and modernize sorting centres.
Measures to fight climate change
Until the next government climate change action plan is unveiled, another $1 billion will be drawn from the sums currently available in the Green Fund for the purpose of enhancing the 2013-2020 CCAP by:
- encouraging transportation electrification, particularly the purchase of electric vehicles, through extension of the Drive Green program;
- supporting businesses in their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in particular through enhancements to the Technoclimat, ÉcoPerformance and Biomasse forestière résiduelle programs;
- facilitating adaptation to climate change impacts.
An enhanced approach
At an average of 9.6 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per capita, Québec's greenhouse gas emissions are well below the Canadian average of 19.4 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per capita. As announced by the Premier, the Québec government intends to increase export opportunities for hydroelectricity, a clean energy source and the greatest contribution Québec can make to the fight against climate change. By combining this strategy with efforts to attract investments and export our green technologies, the government is showing how strongly it believes that Québec is capable of balancing environmental protection and economic development.
With that in mind, Budget 2019-2020 announces that an enhanced environmental approach is currently being prepared under the leadership of the Premier and the Minister of the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change. The new approach will reflect the reality of Québec and aim to make Québec's environmental policies more effective, particularly by making the current governance structure less cumbersome and ensuring that the substantial revenues of the Green Fund are used more effectively.
Improvement of residual materials management
In the coming year, the government will also unveil the new action plan under the Québec Residual Materials Management Policy. An amount of $100 million over five years will be earmarked for implementing the measures in the plan, which will make it possible to address the numerous challenges faced by Québec, particularly in the area of recycling such materials as plastic and glass.
The goal of the measures will be to support the reduction and responsible management of residual materials, including through modernization of sorting centres, to implement transformational action, including implementation of new recovery systems, and to assist remote communities in unique situations.
"Québec must continue to play a leadership role in the area of environment and sustainable development. We are taking meaningful action for the environment, in particular by continuing our efforts to support transportation electrification. More than ever, economic development and environment protection must go hand in hand. Against this backdrop, the fight against climate change is an opportunity to export more of our hydroelectricity and green technologies while reducing our greenhouse gas emissions."
Eric Girard, Québec Minister of Finance
- In the coming year, the government will unveil an enhanced approach to fighting climate change.
- Extension of the Drive Green program should contribute to the purchase of around 66 000 electric vehicles and the installation of nearly 27 500 home charging stations and over 1 200 workplace charging stations.
- $410 million will be invested over the next five years to promote energy transition among businesses, including $320 million to reduce emissions by large industrial businesses.
- The government will invest $80 million in the forest sector over the next five years to mitigate climate change impacts.
Full details of Budget 2019‑2020:
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