Environmental groups held a protest on Saturday calling on the Coalition Avenir Quebec government to cancel two planned projects that they said would set the province back on its greenhouse gas emission targets.
The groups gathered on Mount Royal and marched to Premier Francois Legault’s Montreal office.
“Our message to the government is they’re not doing enough,” said Extinction Rebellion spokesperson Simon Bertrand. “You need to do much more.”
In particular, the groups want the province to cancel two projects that have been given approval: a fertilizer production plant in Becancour and a natural gas project with a facility in the port of Saguenay.
The latter facility would export 11 million tonnes of Western Canada-sourced liquefied natural gas per year.
Legault has defended the project, saying it would bring in $13 billion dollars for Western Canada and Quebec.
“In one year, it will create 7 million tonnes of CO2,” said Bertrand. “That’s the equivalent of CO2 we’ve cut in Quebec since the 1990s. Everything we’ve cut in 30 years will now be back.”
Quebec’s environment minister didn’t respond to requests for comment.
While Legault has repeatedly said oil pipelines are not acceptable to the Quebec government and promoted Quebec’s hydroelectrical production, Extinction Rebellion’s May Chiu said that’s not enough. She said the group wants the province to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2025.
“In terms of concrete action he’s doing everything possible to show that he will dig us deeper into the climate destruction grave,” she said.
Bertrand said the technology to have Quebec adapt to a greener economy is already in place.
“It’s insane the amount of jobs we would create by turning to… renewable energy,” he said. “It’s right there, we just need the government to push that forward.”
With reporting from Matt Grillo