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Ending fossil fuel exploration and development

To reduce our collective dependence on fossil fuels, we must stop producing them.

Since it was established, Équiterre has been working, with a growing number of allies, to reduce the production and consumption of fossil fuels.

The challenge 

Fossil fuels - oil, coal and natural gas - are the primary cause of climate change. They emit large amounts of CO2 and other greenhouse gases (GHGs), and are often environmentally destructive to produce.

In 2018, Canada was the world's fifth largest oil producer, with vast reserves largely in the oil sands. We're in a climate crisis. Canada can no longer remain an oil-dependent, primary natural resource exporter.

With the tide turning in favour of clean energy, particularly in regions like Quebec where we're working to get out of fossil fuel exploration and development, the fossil fuel industry is now scrambling to maintain the status quo, trying to negotiate financial or technological loopholes.

We must stand up against the fossil fuel industry and collectively work toward a more just and sustainable future.

 Fossil fuel projects have no future and are putting our health and safety at risk. The government must use its power to turn its back on fossil fuels without paying compensation 

Émile Boisseau-Bouvier

Climate Policy Analyst

Équiterre's work 

We're working with partners in Quebec and Canada to encourage our governments to plan for and to accelerate our exit from the fossil fuel industry.

We've been documenting the industry's many failings and have been working together to highlight their negative impacts.

We're calling for a halt to fossil fuel exploration and development without compensating the companies who are responsible for the climate devastation that we are all paying for.


  1. Stop fossil fuel exploration and development;
  2. Prohibit the construction or expansion, in Quebec, of any infrastructure intended to increase fossil fuel exploration, production, transportation, distribution or consumption;
  3. Ensure that this is done without any form of compensation to the industry;
  4. Ensure that the public does not have to fund the cleanup or repair of damage caused by the fossil fuel industry;
  5. Develop a just transition plan for workers in fossil fuel industries.

Project history


The GNL Quebec natural gas project cancelled.


Quebec joins the Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance at COP26, in Glasgow.


Anticosti finally granted protection

Équiterre and other environmental organizations, work to ensure that Quebec officially ends any possibility of oil and gas exploration and production on Anticosti Island.

The Non aux forages! petition gathers nearly 33,000 signatures!

Launched by Équiterre and a broad coalition of environmental and civil society groups, the petition demands that the Quebec government permanently withdraw the four draft regulations for oil and gas drilling 150 metres from homes, 60 metres from protected areas, and 40 metres from the St. Lawrence navigable waterway.


Climate Test

Équiterre calls for all future government decisions to pass a "climate test".

Energy East is evaluated in Quebec, and is hotly debated

With its partners, Équiterre obtains a court ruling so that the Energy East project must be subject to Quebec law. In the middle of the BAPE commission hearings, the project is cancelled. Équiterre, its partners and thousands of citizens cry VICTORY! It was an unprecedented mobilization by a united front against this fossil project.

Climate marches

Équiterre is a member of the organizing committees for two major climate marches: Climate Action in Quebec City, and 100 Possibilities in Ottawa.


Energy East pipeline threatens Quebec lands

In response to TransCanada's planned project, Équiterre organizes a series of conferences throughout the region to discuss the dangers of pipelines carrying tar sands crude oil through Quebec. The aim was to mobilize the public and create a movement of strong opposition. The many citizen groups that were created eventually came together as the Fondation Coule pas chez nous.


Oil companies flirt with Quebec to exploit shale gas

In its brief to the Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE), Équiterre calls for a moratorium on shale gas development in Quebec. In February, the government conducts an in-depth environmental assessment, which at the time is considered a de facto moratorium on shale gas development.


Freeing ourselves from oil by 2030

Équiterre publishes an key report analyzing the roots of the problems with regards to oil in Quebec, identifying areas where major work must be done, and suggesting courses of action.


Trailbreaker - Line 9

Équiterre goes to court to oppose Montreal Pipe Lines Ltd.'s attempt to restart its Trailbreaker pipeline flow reversal project to transport tar sands oil through Quebec. A motion by Équiterre and its partners was also heard: the National Energy Board will submit the Enbridge project to a public hearing process.

Take action

Project team