Quebec's environment minister has announced ambitious new greenhouse gas reduction targets for the province.

David Heurtel told a news conference in Quebec City he wants to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 37.5 per cent below 1990 levels by 2030.


Quebec Environment Minister David Heurtel will present the government's position this morning. (Jacques Boissinot/Canadian Press)

"We no longer have a choice," he said. "We have to move forward."

He said transportation and construction are two key areas where greenhouse-gas reductions are required.

"Changing our habits is sometimes beneficial,'' he said at a news conference.

"Is it going to be hard work? Yes. But what's important to point out is there are going to be also a lot of great opportunities linked to achieving that target — economic, social. It's going to allow us to develop a new economy for the 21st century."

Heurtel said the 37.5 per cent target would be the highest in Canada, with Ontario following suit at 37 per cent.

The environment minister called on the federal government to invest more in green technology and to recognize the urgency in acting to fight climate change.

The 37.5-per-cent target was recommended by the province's consultation committee on climate change, which is co-led by Steven Guilbault of the environmental group Equiterre. 

The committee suggested two other possible targets — cutting emissions by either 35 or 40 per cent of 1990 levels by 2030.

The Quebec government will present the 37.5 per cent target in December at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.

with files from Canadian Press