Why is it right to be eco-anxious?
Quebec's government measures will not allow the province to reach the greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction target recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Environmental (IPCC) in the third part of its latest report.
“For Quebec to do its fair share of the climate effort to limit warming to 1.5°C, the target should be a 65% reduction between 1990 and 2030”, explains a climate policy analyst from Équiterre, Émile Boisseau-Bouvier.
Although the current Quebec objective is to reduce GHG emissions to 37.5% for the period from 1990 to 2030, only half of the reductions are currently quantified in the plan implementation of the Plan for a Green Economy (PEV). The transport sector, the lion's share of GHG emissions
The proportion of investment in public transport is currently 30%, while it is 70% for highway transport, according to Équiterre's climate policy analyst.
“These projects will increase urban sprawl and promote solo driving, a mode of travel that is not at all efficient,” he says. The project for the third link between the cities of Quebec and Lévis will, for example, benefit from funding of $6.5 billion.
Moreover, while Quebec intends to decarbonize the transport sector by promoting the electrification of personal vehicles, Mr. Boisseau-Bouvier calls for reducing the total number of vehicles on the roads as well as their size.
< p>“The bigger a vehicle, the more materials it will require to build it and the more energy it will require to move,” he says.
Non-renewable natural energy resources< /h3>
Quebec is also continuing to develop its fossil gas distribution network to supply industrial parks, which contradicts the objective of carbon neutrality targeted by 2050.
“We will have to change our lifestyles and our consumption patterns. We cannot continue in the current vein of production, consumption and dumping. We will have to pool services and review our ways of organizing our cities and our society,” said Mr. Boisseau-Bouvier.
Nevertheless, Quebec took a big step forward this week. Indeed, La Belle Province has become the first jurisdiction in North America to prohibit on its territory the exploitation of hydrocarbons such as shale gas or oil.
Repercussions on young people
The consequences of the climate crisis will particularly affect young people, who will bear the brunt of them. Indeed, these impacts will occupy an important part of their lives. A child born in 2020 will experience two to seven times more extreme weather events compared to a person born in 1960, according to a study published in 2021.
Finally, these impacts feed eco-anxiety. Some young people can feel the loss of a world they are discovering, as explained by a doctoral student in psychology research and intervention at the University of Sherbrooke, Anne-Sophie Dorion.
“They are often exposed to bad news, especially on social media, and they may also have the perception of not being listened to by adults and political decision-makers,” she says. < /p>
The 5 major polluters in Quebec (2019 figures):
1. McInnis Cement
2. Valero Energy – Jean-Gaulin Refinery
3. Alouette Smelter
4. Suncor Refinery
5. Rio Tinto Iron and Titanium – metallurgical complex