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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 have a responsibility to show leadership in the global effort to reduce GHGs and to contribute financially to efforts to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.

The challenge

The global effort to maintain the viability of our planet will not be enough if countries and states do not do their fair share to get us there.

By fair share, we mean a country's current and historical responsibility for the climate crisis. As a developed country, Canada emits, and has emitted (since the industrial revolution) far more GHG emissions than developing countries. Developing coutries therefore have less historical responsibility, but are often disproportionately affected by the climate crisis.

It's clear that Quebec and Canada's current climate actions are not equivalent to our fair share of the global climate effort.

The costs associated with the climate crisis will therefore be unfairly borne by other nations until we intensify our efforts.

 Climate change is a global crisis. Climate action by Canada and Quebec cannot be properly evaluated without taking the principles of equity into account. 

Andréanne Brazeau

Analyst, Climate Policy

Équiterre's work

Avec nos partenaires, nous militons activement et faisons pression sur nos gouvernements afin de les pousser à reconnaître leur responsabilité et à prendre action pour remédier à cette injustice historique.

Nous faisons pression pour que les gouvernements se dotent de cibles qui respectent la science et la responsabilité climatique.

Nous travaillons à ce que du financement et des transferts de technologies de nos gouvernements soient dirigés vers les états et communautés les plus disproportionnellement affectés par la crise climatique : pour les aider à réduire leurs émissions de GES, favoriser leur adaptation aux pires effets de la crise, mais aussi pour compenser les pertes et préjudices déjà largement subis dans le cadre de celle-ci.


  1. Que le Canada et le Québec adoptent des cibles climatiques et des plans d'action qui tiennent compte du concept de juste part;
  2. Que nos gouvernements aident d'autres pays à réduire leurs propres émissions et à s'adapter aux conséquences des changements climatiques.

Project history


Release of a report modeling how Canada can achieve its faire share of emissions reductions in the next decade.

Release of a report on Quebec's fair share.


Formulation of the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities in the Rio Declaration.

Project team

Analyst, Climate Policy and Ecological Transition