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Quebec GHG data shows province lagging behind climate change targets

EcoLog Staff
EcoLog, 2/22/2013 1:49:00 PM

Changes in Quebec’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from 1990 to 2010 are now available from the Ministry of Sustainable Development, Environment, Wildlife and Parks (MDDEFP).

The February 19, 2013 release of Quebec’s GHG data shows that the province is charted off course from meeting its objectives under the Kyoto Protocol. Instead of a projected six per cent drop in GHG emissions, the data shows that Quebec only decreased GHG by 1.6 per cent over the decade. Under the Kyoto Protocol, Quebec is aiming for a 25 per cent GHG reduction by 2020.

Despite the fact that Quebec’s population increased by 13 per cent over the time period, the province’s per capita GHG emissions actually dropped by nearly 13 per cent to 10.4 tonnes, MDDEFP indicates.

The ministry’s data shows that the transport sector remains the largest GHG emitter in Quebec. The sector totalled 35.1 Mt. CO2 emissions in 2010, or 42.5 per cent of the province’s overall emissions.

In a February 20, 2013 statement about Quebec’s new GHG data, environmental group L'Association québécoise de lutte contre la pollution atmosphérique  (AQLPA) said it was alarmed at the increases in road vehicle emissions, particularly light trucks and heavy vehicles.

From 1990 to 2012, GHG emissions from road transport increased from 20.3 to 27.5 Mt. CO2, an increase of 35.4 per cent, the ministry data shows. Light truck emissions have increased by 105.6 per cent and heavy vehicles by 87.7 per cent.

“The AQLPA hammered for years,” states the group’s President, André Bélisle, in a translation from French to English by EcoLog News. “This new data confirms the film is not finished, and it is a great time for Quebec to effectively address GHG emissions, particularly in the transport sector. This is all the more urgent now that the solutions are known and handy. Success is the child of audacity.”

Accelerated electrification of transportation of people and goods is one place to start, the AQLPA says. The group says more funding for public transportation is also important. The AQLPA also recommends the implementation of the vehicle inspection program PIEVA (programme d’inspection et d’entretien des véhicules automobiles legers), and the renewal of existing, successful climate change education programs such as Clear The Air!

The AQLPA also promotes the accelerated development of creating biogas from municipal organic waste, the abandonment of shale gas, and the implementation of actions aimed at cutting dependence on oil for transport. 

AQLPA says it is in favour of a bonus-malus system that would reward corporate efficiency for reducing GHG emissions and penalize heavy polluters.

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