The 2012 target: 6% below 1990 levels
Target reached: Data from the Québec 1990-2012 inventory of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions indicate that in 2012, GHG emissions decreased by 8% compared to their 1990 levels. Québec therefore achieved the reduction goal it had set for that period. Several measures contributed to this result, particularly those stemming from the 2006-2012 Climate Change Action Plan (2006-2012 CCAP), which was essentially funded through a levy on fossil fuels. The Action Plan ended on December 31, 2012, and had a total budget of 1.2 billion dollars.
The 2020 target: 20% below 1990 levels
For 2020, Québec set its GHG emissions reduction target at 20% below 1990 levels. To achieve this, over 4 billion dollars was invested in Québec through the 2013-2020 Climate Change Action plan (2013-2020 CCAP) to reduce GHG emissions and enable Québec to better adapt to the impacts of climate change. The carbon market was the cornerstone of Québec’s action during this period since it financed Québec’s many climate initiatives. The 2013-2020 CCAP was supplemented by other government initiatives in such sectors as land use planning, transportation and sustainable mobility, innovation, energy efficiency, and energy.
2020 was an exceptional year, marked by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Québec GHG emissions inventory (French), emissions in 2020 were 13.2% below the 1990 baseline. This reduction is mainly due to the impacts of the pandemic on the economy. Furthermore, in 2020, businesses covered by the Québec carbon market made a total of 11.4 million net purchases of emission allowances from the California carbon market. As a result of this flow, GHG emissions reductions achieved in the United States were attributed to Québec, equating to 11.4 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent, or 13.4% of Québec’s emission levels in 1990.
As stated in the Report on the achievement of Québec’s greenhouse gas emissions reduction target for 2020 (French), these results indicate that Québec ended 2020 with a net GHG emissions balance that was 26.6% below the 1990 baseline year level. Québec’s 2020 target was therefore reached.
The 2030 target: 37.5% below 1990 levels
Following the hearings of a National Assembly parliamentary committee (French), Québec set its reduction target at 37.5% below 1990 levels by 2030. This target is consistent with the urgent need to act and our determination to develop Québec sustainably and responsibly.
The 2030 Plan for a Green Economy—the climate change policy framework launched on November 16, 2020—will make a major contribution to achieving this target. It will also help Québec strengthen its resilience to climate change, while at the same time developing its economy.
It should be noted that in adopting this target, Québec is following through on the commitment it made alongside 10 other partner states and provinces of the Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers (NEG/ECP) to a regional GHG emissions reduction target of 35 to 45% below 1990 levels by 2030.
2050 carbon neutrality objective: In light of the progression of international climate negotiations and the emerging consensus on climate change, the government intends to make a longer-term commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. Québec is already a member of the coalition of federated states and regions that signed the 2021 Under2 Memorandum of Understanding and that have committed collectively to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. Québec also participates in the UN Race to Zero campaign, whose members aim to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 at the latest.
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