Climate Summit: Montreal is tackling GHGs in buildings
The Mayor of Montreal and President of the CMM, Valérie Plante. The Montreal Metropolitan Community (CMM) has adopted an interim control by-law (RCI) concerning natural environments.
On the occasion of the Montreal Climate Summit, the City of Montreal announced its roadmap for the decarbonization of Montreal buildings by 2040. It is thus 10 years ahead of the schedule of the Climate Plan for zero-emission buildings, which is gave the year 2050 as a target. Various civil society actors also took advantage of the Climate Summit to announce major measures in terms of decarbonization.
There is no later, today is the time to save the planet.
Valérie Plante, Mayor of the City of Montreal
The roadmap targets the steps towards the decarbonization of commercial, residential and institutional buildings in the city. It concerns buildings that already exist or will soon be built.
For new buildings, a zero-emissions performance threshold will be imposed for all new building permit applications. It will come into force from 2024 for buildings of less than 2000 square meters. It will be necessary to wait until 2025 for the larger buildings.
For larger buildings of less than 2,000 square meters, the obligation to declare all heating appliances using fuels will take effect from 2023. The objective is to better target the support and awareness of owners of small buildings and facilitate their transitions. The building sector accounts for nearly 30% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
For existing buildings, thresholds will be determined following public consultation. In the end, in 2040, all buildings in Montreal will have to be completely powered by renewable energies.
“We will have to support citizens who have an old boiler to change. How do we help them move towards hydroelectricity?” said the mayoress of Montreal, Valérie Plante.
A partnership with Hydro-Québec
The City also announced a new collaboration agreement with Hydro-Québec to decarbonize the Montreal building sector.
The two partners will target real estate promoters and developers in particular. The objective is to encourage them to adopt solutions in terms of energy efficiency and peak management.
“The decarbonization of our economy depends in particular on the efficient electrification of existing buildings,” said Hydro-Québec President and CEO Sophie Brochu. As much as it is necessary to reduce the use of fossil fuels, it is also important to do so at the best possible cost.”
They will therefore work to develop energy efficiency in the building sector to optimize its energy consumption.
Ivanhoé Cambridge also decarbonizes
The real estate giant, Ivanhoé Cambridge has also spoken out on the decarbonization of the real estate sector. The latter has some thirty buildings in Montreal, including the Eaton Center and the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel. The company has announced that it will reduce GHG emissions from its building stock by 55% by 2030. Nearly 8,000 tonnes of CO2 will thus be removed from the city’s carbon footprint.
« The target we are setting for 2030 for our Montreal assets is therefore intended to be one more ambitious milestone towards our overall commitment to carbon neutrality by 2040,” said Élise Proulx, Head of Quebec Economic Development at Ivanhoé Cambridge.
The CHUM is decarbonizing for 2040
The University of Montreal Hospital Center (CHUM) also announced at the Climate Summit that it is targeting carbon neutrality for the year 2040.
“As of this year, a strategic committee has been created to create the scaffolding of the decarbonization plan […] we are going to measure our GHG emissions for the first time this year, it will give us the major emission points on which we must work, “explains the anesthesiologist Stephan Williams, who started this major project within his department.
By replacing anesthetic gases, the CHUM expects to reduce its GHGs by 150 tonnes by 2023. Such changes will enable the CHUM to reduce by more than 95% of its GHGs between 2017 and 2023. Dr. Willliams explains that the three major sources of health emissions are energy for buildings, single-use equipment and hotspots such as anesthetic gases. He adds that the healthcare sector accounts for 5% of GHG emissions in Canada.
“Hospitals alone are more GHGs than all domestic air travel,” says Dr. Williams.