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Quebec and Canada's climate responsibility

We must do our fair share in response to the climate crisis

Historically, Canada is among the highest greenhouse gas (GHG) emitting countries. We therefore must take responsibility and act with leadership to do our fair share on global climate action.

By fair share, we’re talking about Canada’s current and historic responsibility with regards to the climate crisis. We have a responsibility to contribute more to global efforts than do developing countries, which have done less to contribute to the climate crisis, have less financial capacity to address it, but are disproportionately affected by its impacts.

Canada must therefore not only be more ambitious in its efforts to reduce its own GHG emissions, but must also help developing countries to decarbonize and to deal with the challenges of climate disruption.

 We must step up our efforts to transform our economy and achieve carbon neutrality as quickly as possible, while protecting biodiversity, adapting to climate impacts and supporting developing countries. 

Andréanne Brazeau

Climate Policy Analyst

Équiterre's work

In collaboration with our partners, Équiterre seeks to transform public policy by pressuring our governments to be more ambitious in their efforts to address the climate crisis. We call on them to respect science and integrate the principle of fair share into their climate action.

We’re working to get Canada and Quebec to adopt robust and ambitious tools to achieve carbon neutrality well before 2050 and to address climate disruption. Both domestically and internationally, we must mitigate our emissions, we must adapt and compensate for the irreversible losses caused by climate disasters, and we must ensure climate and environmental justice.



  1. That the concept of fair share be integrated into the climate targets and action plans adopted by Canada and Quebec;
  2. That our governments contribute to helping other countries reduce their emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Project history


Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act Progress report
As required by the Act, the Minister of the Environment shared the first progress report on Canada's GHG emissions and the measures implemented to meet the targets.


Publication of the 2030 Emissions Reduction Plan
A roadmap to achieve Canada's targets of 40% below 2005 levels by 2030 and net zero emissions by 2050.



Adoption of the Canadian Net-Zero Emissions Accountability Act
This follows Canada's 2015 Paris commitment to set and communicate ambitious national targets, such as achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.


Publication of a report on Canada's Fair Share: Towards a More Ambitious Climate Target
Report by Équiterre and other environmental groups modeling how Canada could achieve its fair share of emissions reductions.


Publication of a report on Quebec’s fair share in the climate effort.
Report by Équiterre and other environmental groups, with recommendations for Quebec to do its fair share in the climate effort.



Publication of the Plan for a Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy
The plan includes 64 new measures and $15 billion in investments to help build a better future.


Publication of a briefing note on a new Climate Change Accountability Act
Produced by Équiterre and its partners, it proposes a framework for the adoption of an ambitious Canadian Climate Accountability Act to achieve net zero emissions targets.


Release of the Canada-wide framework on clean growth and climate change
A ten-year climate plan program for all sectors of the economy to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030.


Adoption of the Paris Agreement
By signing the Paris Agreement, the 193 signatory states commit to limiting the rise of global temperatures to below 2 degrees, focused on limiting it to 1.5 degrees. The states present their "nationally determined contribution", to be evaluated at COP28.


Canada withdraws from the Kyoto Protocol
Canada becomes the first country to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol on reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.


States pledge $100 billion a year to help with adaptation to climate impacts
Developed countries have pledged to mobilize $100 billion a year by 2020 to support climate change adaptation in developing countries.


The Kyoto Protocol and the refusal to recognize differentiated responsibilities
The principle of common but differentiated responsibilities had been the subject of debate, calling on industrialized countries, in the name of their historical responsibility, to take on greater commitments to reduce GHG emissions, than developing countries. The United States did not ratify it.


Adoption of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 
Development of the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities in the Rio Declaration.

Project team