Public opinion in Quebec is solidly behind the reduction of Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG). As evidence of this support, let’s consider the party platforms in yesterday’s election. There was very little debate on the subject in the actual campaign, probably because there was very little to choose between the positions taken by the parties.
The defeated Liberal Government was committed to the reduction of GHG emissions by 20% below 1990 levels. The other parties promised even greater reductions. For instance, the Parti Québécois proposed reducing Quebec’s dependence on oil by 30% by 2020 and by 60% by 2030. These ambitious targets would be achieved principally by electrification of the transportation system. With its many renewable energy resources (hydro-electric and wind), the province can take such a principled approach.
If all provinces accepted this level of reduction, Canada could well re-emerge as a Kyoto Leader . . .. but we digress into a fantasy land!!
There have been proposals to have tar sands oil transported by pipeline to Eastern Canada. Although none of the Quebec parties took a stand on such a proposal, they could be expected to resist this construction, first, because it presents a risk (albeit a very small risk) to Quebec farmland, and secondly because it will bake in GHG emissions into Canada’s future.
Now Quebec’s opposition would be a threat to Canadian unity, but in substance it would not be much different from the objection of the BC Government to the Northern Gateway pipeline! Except in the context of Quebec media coverage of activities by determined individuals prepared to physically resist construction of the pipeline might add to the appeal of the separatist cause
(Information on which this blog is based comes from Equiterre, a non-profit non-partisan nonprofit organization funded primarily by its members.)