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Press release  •  1 min

François Legault's UN speech: Équiterre's expectations

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MONTREAL, September 19, 2023 - Équiterre shares its expectations on the eve of Premier Legault's speech at the United Nations during Climate Ambition Week.

N.B. Premier Legault finally did not deliver a speech at the Summit.

"The Prime Minister has an extraordinary platform to showcase how certain societal choices helped fuel the Quiet Revolution and make Quebec a leader in decarbonizing its economic activities. In 2023, we're at a crossroads, and his government's choices over the next few years will determine whether other Quebec premiers will be invited to such a forum in 20 years."

-Marc-André Viau, Director of Government Relations at Équiterre

"Our collective ambition and pride must be measured by more than just the number of battery plants built in Quebec. We will measure our ambition by our ability to reduce our carbon and material footprints, protect nature and agricultural lands, and reduce inequalities," he adds.

According to Équiterre, if Quebec is to keep making a name for itself in environmental terms, changes in the population's habits will need to be facilitated through better regulatory oversight of several industries. We'll also have to tackle head-on certain issues such as the growing size of our personal vehicles, energy overconsumption, urban sprawl, consumption of single-use items and food safety, to name but a few.

Nonetheless, Équiterre highlights that since taking office, the Prime Minister and his team have adopted a sustainable agriculture plan and a plan for a green economy. They have modernized zero-emission vehicle regulations, increased the size of protected areas, and passed landmark legislation banning fossil fuels exploration on its territory.

However, his government also delayed the implementation of the expanded deposit system and weakened environmental regulations to speed up infrastructure construction. It has also failed to raise the 2030 GHG emissions reduction target adopted in 2015 by Philippe Couillard's government, and has not renewed Québec’s climate adaptation strategy adopted in 2012, despite the fact that it expires in 2020. It is also paving the way for various energy supply projects from a strictly industrial perspective.

Équiterre's offices are located on Indigenous lands that have not been ceded by treaty, which we now call Montreal and Quebec City. We recognize that Indigenous peoples have protected their territories since immemorial times and have used their traditional knowledge to guard the lands and waters. We are grateful to live on these lands and are committed to continuing our efforts to protect them. Read more »

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