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Fact sheet

What are the risks associated with “natural” gas?

Hazardous to our health, our environment and our finances.

Published on 

The so-called "natural" gas consumed in Quebec is in fact 99% fossil fuel. Not only does it contribute to global warming, but it’s also hazardous to our health. "Natural" gas should no longer have a place in our buildings or our homes. Here's why.

Gas is hazardous to our health

We may not realize it, but our gas stoves expose us to health risks, particularly for the respiratory health of children and vulnerable individuals. 🥴

🚩Nitrogen dioxide, methane, fine particles, toxic pollutants and benzene: 21% of what gas stoves give off are toxic volatile components, which escape into our homes... even when the stove is turned off!

🚩Children living in homes with gas stoves are 42% more likely to develop asthma than those that don’t.

Do you have a gas stove? No need to panic! Just make sure that you always have proper ventilation, and we encourage you to watch the video below by Emmanuel Bilodeau (in French). He, too, has just found out about the risks posed by his gas stove. What’s important to remember is that when it comes time to replace your stove, opt for an electric one!

Gas is hazardous to our finances

All natural gas distributed in Quebec is imported from Western Canada or the United States. This increases the reliance of Quebec's energy system on a global fossil fuel market that it doesn’t control, both in terms of supply and price.

Who knows what the future holds? Gas is a risky bet for our finances because of:

  • the high volatility in gas prices;
  • the increased risks for pensions and investments;
  • the increase in Quebec's trade deficit.

Why does natural gas constitute a risk to my pension?

If the money set aside for your retirement is not invested in a fund that specifically excludes fossil fuels, it’s likely that some of it is invested in natural gas assets. There is uncertainty in fossil gas projects (for example, the cancellation of GNL Québec), so your pension funds could be left holding investments that may drop in value.

Gas is hazardous to our environment

The so-called "natural" gas consumed in Quebec buildings is far from being an environmentally friendly form of energy. Like all fossil fuels, when it is burned it creates greenhouse gases and contributes to global warming.

  • 63 % Natural gas is responsible for 63% of greenhouse gas emissions from buildings in Quebec.

Natural gas, from fracking to combustion, is toxic to the environment. It’s not true that it is a transition energy - it’s a myth!

  • Over 80% of the gas sold through Quebec distributors is hydraulically fractured gas from the northern US or Western Canada. Because of the high risks associated with this technique, the production of gas from hydraulic fracturing is no longer permitted in Quebec.
  • You've heard that when burned, natural gas emits 25% to 32% fewer GHGs than fuel oil or diesel? These percentages have been used extensively by the gas industry to convince people to convert to gas, and to justify subsidies to the gas network. The reality is that 95% of "natural" gas is methane, a gas with a global warming potential 84 times greater than CO2 over a 20-year horizon!

1.6 million vehicles 🤯

In Quebec, the annual greenhouse gas emissions from "natural" gas are equivalent to the emissions from 1.6 million vehicles!

A climate justice issue

Specific groups, such as low-income earners, children, the elderly and Indigenous communities, can be more vulnerable to the impacts of the climate crisis. These groups are often not the ones who own high-end gas stoves. However, they may be more adversely affected by hydraulic fracturing and all of its irreparable harm (water contamination, earthquakes, health issues, abnormal fetal development, human rights violations, etc.).

What can you do?

Gas is not a transition energy, and we must take action to ensure that it no longer finds its way into our buildings. You can contact your city council and ask them to get you city off gas using our pre-written email. If every city does this, soon all of Quebec will be saying no to natural gas!

Call on your municipality to take action.

Take action!

Watch the webinar

in French