Ten companies emit half of the GHGs of the industrial sector in Quebec

Ten companies emit half of the GHGs of the industrial sector in Quebec

Chimneys of factories and refineries in Montreal East.

A study reveals that only ten companies accounted for more than half of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the industrial sector in Quebec in 2019.  

Released Nov. 16 by the Institute for Socio-Economic Research and Information (IRIS), the study that sheds light on the province's most polluting industries calls on the industrial sector to decarbonize.  

According to the study, the industrial sector emits more than 29% of total GHG emissions in Quebec, three-quarters of which are directly emitted by 72 companies involved in manufacturing and operations. mining.

The manufacturing industry would be the most polluting, followed by the mining, oil and gas extraction industry and quarrying. The waste management and remediation services industry is the third biggest polluter, followed by public institutions involved in electricity generation.

The economic impact of heavy polluters overstated ?

According to the institute's report, the economic benefits brought by the most polluting companies are overestimated. In fact, the 72 most polluting industrial establishments produce 22% of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Quebec, while they only generate 1% of jobs in the province. The study adds that these same companies do not participate enough in the retention of wealth in Quebec. All the shareholders of the ten companies responsible for half of the GHGs in the industrial sector come from abroad.

The institute wants an ecological transition to be made by the most polluting sectors, while taking into account the importance of these industries in the economy of the regions that depend on them. The study recalls that more than 10% of the active population of the regions of Nord-du-Québec, Côte-Nord, Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Centre-du-Québec is employed by a polluting company. In some municipalities in the province, such as Fermont, Port-Cartier, Bois-Franc, Eeyou Istchee Baie-James, Témiscaming and Sayabec, nearly 40% of the active population is employed by a polluting industry.

In its report, IRIS asks the most polluting industries to get involved in the fight against climate change in order to meet Quebec's GHG emissions reduction target of 37.5% by here 2030. “Major polluters in Quebec must redouble their efforts to reduce their environmental footprint,” said Colin Pratte, co-author of the IRIS study, in a press release. “To limit global warming, betting on the electrification of transport is not enough,” says the researcher.

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