The Premier of Quebec envisions a future beyond oil and gas



Quebec Premier François Legault announced Thursday at COP26 the province joins an international alliance to phase out oil and gas production independently of Canada.

The Beyond Oil and Gas Alliance launched by Costa Rica and Denmark targets oil and gas supply, rather than demand, with the aim of accelerating the phase-out of fossil fuels. The alliance does this by banning further exploration and setting end-of-production targets from existing sites.

The move has been rumored for weeks following Quebec’s decision to end plans for a multibillion-dollar LNG plant and an explicit ban on fossil fuel exploration in the month. latest. Fossil fuels like oil, gas and coal are the main drivers of the climate crisis.

“The reason why Quebec is in this situation is not because of me, it is thanks to those who were there before me, 50 to 60 years ago, who invested in hydroelectricity” , said Legault during a round table.

“The next big project that we have in Quebec is green hydrogen, that is to say the hydrogen created by hydroelectricity, which will allow us to help companies like RioTinto, ArcelorMittal (and) all major manufacturers to reduce their (emissions), ”he said. .

In August, Utica Resources Inc. filed a lawsuit against Quebec alleging that the province acted illegally by closing the door to its ability to drill. The Quebec Center for Environmental Law has published a legal opinion claiming the province has the power to end oil and gas extraction. The trial is ongoing.

Climate Action Network Canada’s national policy director Caroline Brouillette said going fossil fuels is the new norm for climate leadership and the next step should be to enshrine it in law.

“Although this decision may be easier to make for Quebec than for other jurisdictions, the opportunity cost is not zero,” she said. “There are fossil resources in Canada. We know that there are billions of cubic feet of gas in the St. Lawrence Lowlands, as well as millions of barrels of oil in southeastern Quebec.

Brouillette said that while it is true that Quebec is a smaller player in the oil and gas sector than other provinces like Alberta, which makes it easier to sign an alliance like this, the basics were thrown out by years of activism to oppose the development of fossil fuels.

“The reason there are very few (…) is because of this activism which has been supported for years by local groups, citizens and frontline land defenders,” he said. she declared.

Quebec Premier François Legault announced Thursday at COP26 that the province is joining an international alliance to phase out oil and gas production independently of Canada. # COP26 #cdnpoli # COP26xCNO

“These activists made this decision easier for the Quebec government.

Canadian Minister of Natural Resources Jonathan Wilkinson said National Observer of Canada There have always been differences between provinces in their approach to natural resource development, but he said people are concerned about greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas from coast to coast to coast. other.

“This is true in Alberta and Saskatchewan, as it is in Quebec, British Columbia and the Atlantic provinces, (and) the problem is that people are concerned about the future in some of these areas.” , did he declare.

Wilkinson said the science of climate change is “crystal clear,” but that does not define the specific path a jurisdiction takes towards a net zero world.

“I think the responsible approach of all politicians is to say that we are going to follow the science, but find out for my province, my territory, my country, how do we do it in a thoughtful way that also allows us to d ‘have a strong economy,’ he said.

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh said it is important to look to a world beyond fossil fuels because of their impact on the planet.

“Our big push is that we can’t imagine this world beyond fossil fuels without a really clear plan for workers,” he said.

“To make this world come true, it means working with the people who are directly affected, and making sure they have a good job, a good future and a good livelihood. “

– With files from Nora Legrand


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