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Slight rebound in GHGs in Quebec in 2021

Natasha Kumar By Natasha Kumar Dec20,2023

In Quebec, the transportation sector remains the main contributor of greenhouse gases.

Slight rebound in GHGs in Quebec in 2021

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In 2021, GHG emission levels were lower than pre-pandemic levels, but slightly higher compared to 2020, indicates a report from the Quebec government published Wednesday . (Archive photo)

The Canadian Press

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Quebec recorded in 2021 levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions lower than those of x27;before the pandemic, but higher than those of 2020, according to the report on the government's reduction target made public on Wednesday.

Quebec released 77.6 million equivalent tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in 2021, a drop of 5.6% compared to 2019, which was the last pre-pandemic report.

However, we observe a slight rebound compared to 2020, a year where several health measures slowed the economy and where Quebecers rejected 74 megatons in the atmosphere.

The year 2020 is the year of the pandemic, we had to take the results with a grain of salt, because they were distorted, while 2021 are also figures that must be taken with a certain reserve, but when we compare with 2019, it is encouraging, indicated the Minister of ;Environment, Benoit Charette, during a press conference.

He added that the forecasts for 2022 give the feeling of having plateaued in our GHG emissions.

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Benoit Charette, Quebec Minister of the Environment.

The government's results indicate that Quebec has remained first in Canada in terms of GHG emissions per person, with 9 tonnes CO2 equivalent (t CO2 eq.) per capita, half the rate for Canada as a whole, established at 17.5 t CO2 eq. CO2.

Quebec's GHGs represent 11.6% of Canadian emissions; Alberta alone is responsible for 38.2% of the country's emissions.

The transport sector is still the main contributor of GHGs.

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Road, air, maritime, rail and off-road transport thus generated 33 Mt eq . CO2, or 42.6% of Quebec's total emissions. The report on the reduction target, however, highlights that in 2021, emissions from this sector are below the pre-pandemic level.

If we only take road transport into account, its share of Quebec's total emissions increased from 24.5% in 1990 to 31.2% in 2021. These emissions have therefore decreased by 7.9% compared to 2019.< /p>Open in full screen mode

After the transport sector, the industrial sector is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases in Quebec.

The industrial sector is the second largest transmitter, with 25 Mt eq. CO2, which represents 32.3% of total emissions.

Emissions from the industrial sector have decreased by 22% since 1990, according to the &x27; inventory.

This decline is partly attributable to continued improvements in energy efficiency , as well as the substitution of certain fuels.

A quote from Extract from the report

Agriculture follows in third place, with 8.1 Mt eq. CO2, or 10.4% of GHG emissions.

Residential, commercial and institutional buildings (heating) come fourth, with 7.0 Mt eq. CO2, or 9.1% of emissions.

The residual materials sector, which has been declining in recent years, contributes 4 Mt eq. CO2 (5.2%).

In 2015, after the Paris Agreement, Quebec set itself the mission of reducing GHG emissions by 37.5% compared to their 1990 level.

In light of this report, emissions decreased by 8.9% in the territory between 1990 and 2021.

But this inventory does not take into account data from the carbon market; if these were compiled, we would observe a more marked reduction in GHGs.

The 8.9% drop in GHG emissions observed since 1990 is mainly attributable to the reduction in emissions from the industrial sector and the residential, commercial and institutional heating sector, according to the government report.

Moreover, the report highlights that since 1990, the population has increased by 23% and GDP has increased by 78%.

In 2021, carbon dioxide (CO2), which mainly came from transportation, accounted for 78.3% of GHG emissions.

Methane emissions (CH4) represented 11.6%, and those of nitrous oxide (N2O), 5.8%. These two gases were mainly emitted by the agricultural sector.

CO2, CH4 and N2O therefore corresponded to 95.7% of total GHG emissions.

The data for the year 2022 is not yet completely recorded, but government officials who presented the report on Wednesday predict, for the first time, a reduction in fuel consumption, which the Minister of the Environment estimates at 9% and linked to a drop in the number of thermal vehicles in 2022.

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The growing purchase of electric vehicles is causing the number of thermal vehicles in the province.

At a press conference, Benoit Charette indicated that for the first time since 1985, the number of thermal vehicles would have decreased in Quebec in 2022, an estimated reduction of 40,000 vehicles.

Despite the planned reduction in the number of thermal vehicles in favor of electric vehicles, officials predict a 1.4% increase in emissions in 2022, compared to 2021.

This increase is notably explained by the resumption of certain economic activities, which had been slowed down during the pandemic.

The Ministry of the Environment also presented an assessment of its climate action for 2022-2023.

Among the highlights, the government highlighted the conversion of more than 11,000 fossil fuel heating systems, in whole or in part, to renewable energy, the addition of 367 public rapid terminals to the existing network and an investment of $100 million to fight against erosion and submersion of the coasts in Quebec.

Also, the Ministry of the Environment highlighted a substantial increase in the number of projects aimed at making institutions, businesses and industries more low carbon.

Natasha Kumar

By Natasha Kumar

Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my 1-800-268-7116

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