Montreal, Monday, April 4, 2022 - The message from the IPCC report detailing the solutions to avoid the worst of the climate crisis is unequivocal for the governments of Quebec and Canada: much more needs to be done and much more quickly.
"Reading the report, there is clearly a significant gap between what the scientists propose and the political actions of our governments. We won’t be able to realize the necessary transition without major changes in the way we get around, eat, consume and occupy the land. It's time for our governments to face reality and stop taking half-measures," says Émile Boisseau-Bouvier, Équiterre’s Climate Policy Analyst.
The IPCC also tells us that limiting global warming to 1.5°C will require addressing the emissions of the richest 10% of households, which contribute about 36-45% of global emissions, of which ⅔ live in wealthier countries like Canada.
"We have a historical responsibility and the financial capacity to take the actions that are needed," adds the analyst.
Quebec has a long way to go
Contrary to what Environment Minister Benoit Charette says, this IPCC report also shows that it is far from "impossible" to do more to avoid the worst effects of the climate crisis.
Instead, it presents a range of solutions within the reach of the Quebec government, including in land use planning and transportation, the province's largest emitting sector (45% of our GHG emissions).
"In Quebec, the government is reluctant to get us out of a fossil fuel dependent lifestyle. We develop the land the wrong way, we put forward crazy projects such as the 3e lien, we put up roadblocks for projects like Quebec City’s tramway and we do practically nothing to reduce our collective dependence on solo driving," explains Émile Boisseau-Bouvier.
Oil and gas: The federal government has no excuse
According to Équiterre, this IPCC report should also be the nail in the coffin of any new infrastructure project related to fossil fuels in Canada and put an end to the federal government's and the industry's attempts to produce what they call "green" or "clean" oil, which is nothing but greenwashing, pure and simple.
"The IPCC's message couldn't be more clear: you can't produce more oil and fight the climate crisis at the same time. Period. Continuing to promote projects like Bay du Nord or Trans Mountain is unethical," concludes Émile Boisseau-Bouvier.
Équiterre also highlights the IPCC’S warning against putting too much emphasis on unproven technologies (such as carbon capture and storage) to reduce emissions from the fossil fuel sector, which is widely promoted in the federal government's plan released last week.