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7.6 Provincial Summary: Québec

Reality Check: The State of Climate Progress in Canada

Emissions profile

In 2009, Québec contributed roughly 12% of Canada’s overall emissions (82 Mt CO2e) – a 2% reduction in the province’s emissions levels since 1990.151 A breakdown of 2009 emissions by source is provided in Figure 32.

Economy-wide measures

Québec’s GHG reduction policies over the last several years have been guided by the 2006-2012 Climate Change Action Plan. The province is now transitioning to a 2013-2020 Action Plan, which is expected to be released soon.ii

Since 2007, the provincial government has imposed a fuel duty on energy distributors that generates $200 million per year in funds that are directed back into GHG reduction measures.152 In addition, beginning in 2013, the first phase of a cap and trade system will be implemented to limit emissions from the main sources in the province (see Chapter 3). The fuel duty will continue to apply until the end of 2014, but it will not be imposed on firms covered under the trading scheme.153

Québec’s 2013-2020 climate plan will be financed using the $2.7 billion in revenues generated from the provincial cap and trade system and the existing fossil fuel duty to fund other emission-reduction measures and adaptation.154

Emission reductions measures by source

Transportation is a growing emissions source for the province, having rose 28% since 1990.155 Through Québec’s Policy Respecting Public Transit, the province invested $4.5 billion in mass transit and alternative transportation between 2006 and 2012. Expenditures include the purchase of buses and trains and expansion of services.156 Other measures targeting transportation included imposition of vehicle emissions standards on light-duty vehicles and 5% ethanol fuel content requirement. The 2013-2020 plan will dedicate two-thirds of the $2.7 billion in revenues expected from the fuel duty and emission allowances toward further actions to reduce emissions from transportation. $1.5 billion will be used to fund mass transit and alternative transportation. For freight vehicles, there will also be support for the conversion to other sources (e.g., electricity) and enhanced intermodal transportation alongside adoption of new vehicle emissions standards beyond 2017.157

Stationary energy emissions are already moving in the right direction, having fallen 21% since 1990.158 These emissions are low relative to other provinces due in large part to a heavy reliance on non-emitting sources of electricity through hydropower. The province has pursued reductions in this sector through developing new hydroelectric and wind capacity and a strong focus on energy efficiency. Further measures are being developed through the 2013-2020 plan including programs to support energy efficiency and converting homes and businesses to rely more on renewable energy.159

Emissions from industrial processes are relatively small at 9.1 Mt and have fallen by 30% since 1990.160 Large sources from this sector will be covered under the emissions trading scheme. The 2013-2020 Action Plan will support research and development into green technologies that may support emission reduction efforts in this sector.161

Agricultural emissions were 7.3 Mt in 2009, equivalent to a 1% increase since 1990.162 The government has supported emission reductions efforts in this sector through funding for manure management and extracting energy from biomass. Going forward, there will be financial support for farmers to convert to more GHG efficient farming practices and further support for bioenergy sources.163

Provincial evaluation of emissions reduction measures

Annual progress reports were issued on the 2006-2012 Action Plan. While details of the 2013-2020 plan are not yet available, there are plans to review progress at the mid-way point to ensure efficacy of measures and make sure funds are being used in the best way possible.164

Inter-jurisdictional measures

Québec has been an active participant in the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) since joining in 2008 (see Chapter 3). The hallmark of this initiative has been the development of provincial and state-level emissions trading schemes that could eventually be interlinked to create a wider market, reduce leakage and drive costs down. Québec and California are both moving forward to implement trading schemes in the coming year.

Québec is also a member of the New England Governors/Eastern Canadian Premiers and has created its own targets that reach beyond the NEG/ECP Climate Change Action Plan 2001 target for regional GHG emissions of 1990 levels by 2010 and 10% below 1990 levels by 2020.

[ii] Information included in this appendix is sourced from Government of Québec 2008 (on measures to date) and Finances Québec 2012 (on future plans) unless otherwise indicated.

[150] Environment Canada 2011b

[151] Environment Canada 2011b

[152] Government of Québec 2010

[153] Finances Québec 2012

[154] Finances Québec 2012

[155] Environment Canada 2011b

[156] Government of Québec 2010

[157] Finances Québec 2012

[158] Environment Canada 2011b

[159] Finances Québec 2012

[160] Environment Canada 2011b

[161] Finances Québec 2012

[162] Environment Canada 2011b

[163] Finances Québec 2012

[164] Finances Québec 2012