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Unpublished Report: Québec Government pays out $300 million per year in hydrocarbon subsidies


On the eve of the provincial budget, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and Équiterre unveil an unpublished report on how much the Quebec Government has spent in support of hydrocarbons. This study, which is the most exhaustive one on the subject and the only one to deal with these issues, was carried out in order to address the lack of compiled data showing an overall picture of how much has been spent in support of these industries and these types of energy.

 Whereas the Quebec Government has :

  • positioned itself as a leader in the fight against climate change with the most ambitious GHG reduction target in Canada;
  • adopted an energy policy for 2030 (that focuses on energy transition and a low-carbon economy);
  • stated that it wants to achieve a 40% reduction in the amount of petroleum-based products consumed within the Province by 2030 and increase total renewable energy produced by 25% over the current figure in that same period: 

The report released shows that since 2011 the Quebec Government continues to encourage the use of hydrocarbons in a number of areas, and how much the Quebec Government has spent in support of hydrocarbons :

  • the Québec Government pays out on average 300 million dollars per year related to the consumption and development of fossil-based energies;
  • since 2011, approximately 1.7 billion dollars have been paid out in support of hydrocarbons;
  • Équiterre and the IISD discovered that over a seven-year period, $35 million in subsidies were taken from the Green Fund and directed to support for fossil-fuel forms of energy, including $30 million for the expansion of the Énergir network.


“This study shows that it’s not just the Federal Government that needs to make changes in the way it handles subsidies and tax credits in order to maximize both the fight against climate change and reduce our dependence on hydrocarbons. Québec also needs to stop making investments through its crown corporations that encourage the use of hydrocarbons,” stated Steven Guilbeault, Équiterre’s Senior Director.

“Compiling this data was a complex task, given the lack of detailed information on the amounts invested by the Québec Government on hydrocarbon consumption and development. A more transparent and thorough form of accounting would allow for closer monitoring of expenditures made each year by the provincial government and its agents on hydrocarbons, and is something that Quebec taxpayers deserve,” explained Yanick Touchette, Policy Advisor on Energy with the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD).

See the full report and the press release about this study.