As Quebec takes on co-presidency of the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance, climate organizations present their expectations for what this new role means

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Dubai, 5 December, 2023 – Following Minister Benoit Charette’s announcement today that Quebec would be taking on greater leadership within the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance (BOGA), climate organizations are sharing their key expectations for Quebec.

With its new role as BOGA’s co-president for subnational states, Quebec can play a major role in promoting the global energy transition.

This new position comes with new responsibilities. Quebec must now scale up its efforts to fill the gaps in its current plans at the provincial level, while taking on a more proactive role both within the Canadian federation and on the international stage.

Within Quebec: greater ambition, more quickly

Quebec must simultaneously raise its level of ambition and its implementation mechanisms. This means doing its fair share of the global effort to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C and increasing its emissions reduction target to at least 65% below 1990 levels by 2030, from its current goal of 37.5%. Quebec must also immediately strengthen its climate action plan, which currently only allows it to reach 60% of its already insufficient target.

Meanwhile, Quebec must catch up with regards to a just transition. It should take inspiration from international examples and fully implement the negotiations at COP28 on the Just Transition Work Programme. It must work immediately with unions, employers, Indigenous Peoples, and regional and environmental groups to ensure a fair plan for the workers of Quebec.

Further, having hosted the biodiversity COP15 last year, Quebec must do more to protect biodiversity, as well as encouraging Canada to link the objectives of the Kunming-Montreal Accord to those of the Paris Agreement, to ensure that responses to the climate crisis also make it possible to halt and reverse the loss of biodiversity.

Moving Canada forward

With other premiers at COP to promote fossil fuels and delay the transition towards renewable energy, Quebec must push Canada towards greater ambition instead. Nine out of 10 people in Quebec support a cap on emissions from the oil and gas industry; Quebec must push for a strong target in the upcoming federal cap that makes Canada’s biggest polluters do their fair share as soon as possible.

International climate finance

Quebec must also take on its fair share in terms of international climate finance, in line with its historical responsibility and financial capacity. This involves making a contribution towards the new loss and damage fund, as other subnational governments have done. The groups also encourage Quebec to increase its contributions for adaptation, reflecting its commitment towards resilience globally, and especially for the most vulnerable communities.

Quotes

Leïla Cantave, Quebec Leader, Climate Action Network Canada (CAN-Rac): 

“In its new role as co-president of BOGA, Quebec finds itself at a critical crossroads. With this role comes great responsibility. Quebec must now turn its commitment to fighting climate change into concrete measures, not only at the local level, but also by positively influencing Canada’s and the world’s trajectory. This is a unique opportunity for Quebec to actively shape the global climate agenda and show how effective leadership can deliver concrete transformative change.”

Patricia Clermont, Coordinator, Association québécoise des médecins pour l’environnement (AQME):

“We very much hope that Quebec will announce concrete and coherent actions to assume effective leadership as co-chair of BOGA. We also hope that its participation at COP 28 will consolidate decisions in Quebec itself to continue Quebec’s exit from hydrocarbons and gas. It’s also a question of planetary health (combining human and environmental health), as an effective and coherent exit from fossil fuels will also help reduce costs for our healthcare systems. Quebecers are hungry to finally start meeting our GHG reduction targets, and they need to see that Quebec is truly serious and even capable of being a world leader in this regard – or at least not at the back of the pack.”

Andréanne Brazeau, climate policy analyst, Équiterre:

“Quebec’s appointment as co-president of the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance represents international recognition of its leadership in decarbonized energy production. This inspiring announcement about Quebec should serve as an example to Ottawa and the other Canadian provinces, whose economies depend on fossil fuels and whose delegations to COP28 include too many representatives from this sector. Quebec has managed to make a name for itself even though it’s not even at the negotiating tables.
“However, this honor comes with responsibilities. For complete and coherent action, we need to reduce our energy consumption and truly go beyond oil and gas by putting an end to their consumption on our territory. Équiterre hopes that this new role will be an opportunity to accelerate the pace in this direction.”

Patrick Bonin, Climate and Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace Canada:

“Quebec put an end to oil and gas exploration and production thanks to the mobilisation of civil society, which successfully fought fossil fuel production and transport projects. The Quebec government is trying to hide its flagrant lack of ambition when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by signaling it’s green, when it is barely on track to reach 60% of its 2030 target, worse than all G20 countries. The Quebec government must demand that Canada immediately reduce and impose a cap on oil and gas emissions, and it must demonstrate much greater ambition in emissions reductions in Quebec.”

ENDS

For more information, please contact:

Patrick Bonin, Climate and Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace Canada

514-594-1221, pbonin@greenpeace.org