Montreal, October 4, 2022 – Following yesterday’s provincial election, Équiterre congratulates all elected officials and is ready to work with them to advance priority environmental issues. More than ever, the Legault government will have to prioritize addressing the climate crisis and the collapse of biodiversity and it must work to better prepare Quebec to adapt to their many consequences.
Next four years : crucial for Quebec’s adaptation to climate change
The re-elected government has presented numbers in its environmental plans, but it barely scratches the surface of the level of ambition needed to achieve the ecological transition that is necessary to prepare Quebec to better cope with the impacts of climate change. The coming four years will be crucial.
"We still have a long way to go to ensure that projects, policies and regulations are evaluated based on their environmental impact rather than on their electoral impact. To mitigate the impact of climate change on our economy, our territory and our communities, we need serious politicians to put in motion a transition"
Priority issues and opportunities
Équiterre was pleased to see that environmental issues were given greater prominence during this election campaign, but they were not addressed in all their complexity nor in depth during the debates. Adaptation issues, in particular, were left out. Extreme weather events are still being treated as isolated, piecemeal phenomena, while they clearly indicate that Quebec is not well prepared nor taking on the adaptation challenges.
"Rather than promising to fight coastal erosion after a hurricane, we need to act before those catastrophes hit us. That is why we need an adaptation plan so that all of Quebec better prepare and protect its communities from the effects of climate change. The next four years will be crucial and will require a very concrete commitment from the new Minister of Environment," adds Marc-André Viau.
There are several upcoming opportunities for climate action, such as COP27 on climate change in November and COP15 on biodiversity in December, which will be held here in Montreal. The central focus of the COP15 conference will be addressing biodiversity collapse and protecting the living world. Though hardly addressed by the political parties, these issues must be central in our decisions on land use planning and on economic and industrial development.
Équiterre is setting high expectations for the new government. It will need to show political courage and implement ambitious climate action grounded in the principles of environmental justice.