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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. 

Émile Boisseau-Bouvier

Analyst, Climate Policy and Ecological Transition

Équiterre's work

Fighting the climate crisis without climate justice is inconceivable for Équiterre.

Along with our partners, we are actively pressuring our governments to recognize their responsibility and to take action to right this historical injustice.

We're encouraging our governments to set targets that respect science and climate responsibility.

We're working to ensure that funding and technology transfers from our governments are directed to the countries and communities that are most disproportionately affected by the climate crisis: both to help them reduce their GHG emissions, to help them adapt to the worst effects of the crisis, but also to compensate them for the loss and the harm that have already been widely sustained as a result of the climate crisis.


  1. That Canada and Quebec adopt climate targets and action plans that incorporate the concept of a fair share;
  2. That our governments help other countries to reduce their emissions and to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

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