Montreal Climate Summit | Accelerate Climate Action

The first-ever Montreal Climate Summit was held Tuesday at Bonsecours Market with the aim of accelerating climate action in the metropolis of Quebec. Representatives from the business, political, environmental, community and philanthropic communities discussed a variety of issues, including the decarbonisation of buildings, environmental taxation and the electrification of urban transport.

Posted at 9:00 am

Eric Pierre Champagne

Eric Pierre Champagne
The press

CO2-neutral buildings in 2040

The city of Montreal announced on Tuesday that all buildings on its territory must be powered by renewable energy by 2040 instead of 2050. In addition, all new construction must be carbon neutral by 2025. The construction sector is responsible for 30% of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the metropolis. “It is an important and necessary gesture that we are taking to accelerate the ecological transition because I repeat, we can no longer wait to act,” said Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante. This is a major project that we are undertaking and that will begin this year, with a public consultation, to clearly identify the different technical, social and economic problems of the different players,” she added.

Ivanhoé Cambridge aims to reduce its carbon footprint by 55%


PHOTOGRAPH HUGO-SÉBASTIEN AUBERT, LA PRESSE ARCHIVES

Place Ville-Marie

In the wake of the Montreal climate summit, the subsidiary of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec Ivanhoé Cambridge announced its intention to reduce the carbon intensity of its Montreal assets by 55% by 2030 compared to 2017. According to the real estate company, this corresponds to 8000 tons of CO2† Notably, it owns the Eaton Centre, Place Montréal Trust, Galeries d’Anjou and Place Ville Marie. The company also announced that all of its new projects will be carbon neutral by 2025.

Minister Guilbeault put to work


PHOTOGRAPH PATRICK DOYLE, THE CANADIAN PRESS ARCHIVES

Steven Guilbeault, Secretary of the Environment and Climate Change

The Secretary of the Environment and Climate Change, Steven Guilbeault, spoke at the opening of the summit. In particular, he said he understood people’s disappointment over his decision to authorize the controversial Bay du Nord oil project, off the coast of Newfoundland. “I have to accept that I can’t win all battles, don’t think that in government I can solve everything alone,” he said. Protesters from the Extinction Rebellion group managed to enter the Bonsecours market, disrupting the speech of Quebec’s Environment Minister Benoit Charette, which followed Mr Guilbeault’s. The protesters dressed as clowns shouted “Guilbeault, Guilbeault” before being evacuated by security agents.

Cities in the foreground


PHOTOGRAPH PATRICK SANFAÇON, THE PRESS

Benoit Charette, Quebec Environment Minister, and Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montreal

Municipalities have been advocating for some time to be at the forefront of tackling the climate crisis, the effects of which are becoming increasingly concrete. Minister Charette was also pleased to see the municipal world “mobilizing for climate change”. Valérie Plante had previously indicated that she wanted this summit to be the first of several to follow. Keep in mind that according to the Ouranos consortium, which specializes in the study of climate change, the average summer temperature in Montreal could rise by 6 by 2100. There can also be up to 75 days a year when the mercury exceeds 30.

A public health problem


PHOTOGRAPH MARTIN TREMBLAY, PRESS ARCHIVES

the dd Mylène Drouin, Regional Director of Public Health for Montreal

The city of Montreal also took advantage of the summit to announce a new agreement with the regional public health department. Specifically, this provides for “identifying the government policies, practices and regulatory measures needed to create facilities that foster community resilience.” According to the Dd Mylène Drouin, public health director in Montreal, “The effects of climate change on the mental and physical health of the population of Montreal are increasing”, especially for the most vulnerable groups.

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