Québec Solidaire beefs up fight against climate change, boosts greenhouse gas targets

Laying the groundwork for the upcoming provincial election campaign next year, members of the opposition party voted on some 20 proposals, in particular those that deal with the climate crisis. 

Members voted for a 55% reduction target of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, up from 45%

Québec Solidaire parliamentary leader Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois praised the seriousness of his party's approach to fighting climate change at an annual convention this weekend. (Sylvain Roussel/CBC)

About 400 Québec Solidaire (QS) members gathered at an annual convention this weekend to lay the groundwork for what the party is calling its "greenest electoral platform in its history" ahead of next year's provincial election, slated for Oct. 3, 2022. 

Members of the opposition party voted on some 20 proposals, in particular those that deal with the climate crisis. 

The party voted to increase its greenhouse gas reduction target, setting it to 55 per cent by 2030, up from the party's previous target of 45 per cent. The objective is to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

In comparison, the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) government's current reduction target is 37.5 per cent by 2030.

At the QS convention, ideas aimed at nationalizing oil companies and the mining and forestry industry were rejected, as were those aimed at banning automobiles of all kinds by 2030.

A QS government would, however, be in favour of nationalizing renewable energy industries, such as wind and solar power, in order to better plan for the overall needs of Quebec. 

QS also promised it would ban the exploitation of hydrocarbons as well as create a public network of electric trains for passengers and goods.

To reduce waste and increase the lifespan of products, QS said it would ban planned obsolescence and legislate to guarantee the right to repair goods. 

Charges for companies that exploit drinking water for commercial purposes would also be increased significantly, party members voted. 

At the opening of the convention, the party also announced its intention to ban "ultra-polluting" advertising, such as ads on fossil fuels and gasoline-powered sport utility vehicles (SUVs), as of 2022.

Québec Solidaire expects to make gains

QS parliamentary leader Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois praised the seriousness of his party's approach to fighting climate change.

He said QS was not "just a party of great ideas, great values," but that it was going to make concrete proposals in order to improve people's lives from day to day.

"We do not boast," he insisted at the convention Saturday, adding he was convinced that the party would be able to continue its growth and make significant gains in the 2022 elections.

"We can be an ambitious party, for example in the fight against climate change, and be credible and rigorous in our proposals. This is the balance we want," he said. 

While top CAQ political aides took no time in attacking the QS's goals, with senior CAQ advisor Stéphane Gobeil calling the party's targets "so not realistic," Nadeau-Dubois retaliated by saying the CAQ is struggling to reach its own climate goals.

Nadeau-Dubois added that QS is not facing "an identity crisis," something he said he couldn't say for other parties. 

"We know where we are going, we know what our project for Quebec is," he said.

With files from La Presse canadienne


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