Ambitious climate targets, but where's the money?
In the new provincial budget, Finance Minister Raymond Bachand reaffirms Quebec's ambitious goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% below 1990 levels by 2020, but fails to follow through with a realistic plan.
The government has earmarked $2.4 billion in revenue from the new carbon market to finance its 2013-2020 Climate Change Action Plan. Two-thirds of this money will be used to help promote public transit and active transportation.
Sounds good, but...
It would take an investment of $1.5 billion a year to see real progress in these areas.
We would have liked to have seen the government:
- increase the carbon tax
- cut spending on new roads
We also would have liked to have seen a greater focus on agriculture and food, specifically:
- more support for organic farming
- encouragement for schools and hospitals to buy local food (quotas)
But the budget does contain some good news regarding the 2013-2020 Climate Change Action Plan:
- $60 million over five years for green belts to curb urban sprawl in Montreal and Quebec City
- $50 million for a fund that supports the development of clean technologies
- More than $178 million for green building
- $115 million to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the freight transportation sector