The 2012 target: 6% below 1990 levels
Target reached: Data from the Québec 1990-2012 inventory of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions indicates that in 2012, GHG emissions had been reduced by 8% compared to their 1990 levels. As such, Québec exceeded its self-set reduction goal for that timeline by 2%. A number of measures helped achieve this result, particularly those stemming from the 2006-2012 Climate Change Action Plan (2006-2012 CCAP) that was essentially funded through a levy on fossil fuels. The Action Plan ended on December 31, 2012 and had a total available budget of 1.2 billion dollars.
The 2020 target: 20% below 1990 levels
Québec took on a target for 2020: Reducing its GHG emissions by 20% below their 1990 levels. To succeed, it implemented a series of measures, including the carbon market, which spearheads government climate change action. All income from the market supports the implementation of measures to fight climate change and optimize benefits to Québec society.
Over four billion dollars were invested in Québec through the 2013-2020 Climate Change Action Plan to support businesses, municipalities and citizens in their transition to a lower carbon world that is better adapted to the impacts of climate change.
The plan is supplemented by other government initiatives in such sectors as land use planning, transportation and sustainable mobility, innovation, energy efficiency, and energy. These also have an impact on achieving Québec’s goals in the fight against climate change.
Data from the 2018 Québec emissions inventory and emission trends since 1990 show that emission levels have dropped by 6% in Québec, while the population and GDP have increased respectively by 20.1% and 71.3%. However, a significant reduction in GHG emissions has not been observed and, between 2014 and 2018, they increased by 2.9%.
The 2030 target: 37.5 % below 1990 levels
Following hearings of a National Assembly parliamentary committee (French), Québec set itself a reduction target of 37.5% below 1990 levels by 2030. This target is consistent with the urgent need to act and with our will to develop Québec sustainably and responsibly.
The 2030 Plan for a Green Economy—the electrification and 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 making its economy grow.
In adopting this target, Québec held to 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 emission reduction target of 35 to 45% below 1990 levels by 2030.
2050 carbon neutrality objective: Considering the evolution of international climate negotiations and 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 Compact of States and Regions and a signatory to the Subnational Global Climate Leadership Memorandum of Understanding (Under 2 MOU) that aims at limiting global warming to less than 2°C, with a goal of reducing emissions by 80 to 95% below 1990 levels by 2050.