Green Fund: Quebec is strict with municipalities

premier-ministre-philippe-couillard-clairQuebec will be strict with the municipalities that present projects to reduce emissions of greenhouse gas: it will not manna and open bar without conditions.

The government will put $ 3.3 billion on the table to help them by 2020, but the Prime Minister Philippe Couillard is clear: no dusting or dispersion, the funds will be used exclusively to fight climate change or reduce their effects .

The Union of Quebec Municipalities (UMQ) said Sunday that its members should assume half of Quebec’s efforts to achieve its target of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG), and requests the Government to grant them additional funding to succeed.

In Paris for the holding of the UN Conference on Climate Change, COP 21, the President of the UMQ, Suzanne Roy, said in a telephone interview Sunday that nobody yet knows the detail of GHG reduction plan Quebec, but it will ensure on behalf of its members that the government Couillard “is waiting for you” to “have the means” necessary to fight climate change.

Philippe Couillard, who is in Paris to attend the international summit, first indicated that his government will provide $ 3.3 billion in 2020 out of its Green Fund, funded by the Carbon Exchange.

“The money will come essentially the Green Fund in shares that are specifically and exclusively targeted in the adaptation and mitigation of the effects of climate change,” he said in a press briefing at the Science City La Villette in Paris.

The Prime Minister, however, subsequently launched a warning, “a signal” as a “public good fund manager”: Quebec will be strict and will not say yes to any project.

“The Green Fund should keep its mission, it must not be sprinkled or dispersed. Ensure that each time we do an intervention, it is in the field for which it was created. ”

When he was Minister of Health, Mr. Couillard said he saw too often the announcement of a new financing program with a “normal phenomenon”, where all initiatives suddenly become “thematic”, related to the theme so a little too far.

“We will be very strict in the management of this fund (Green Fund) because we need them, there are many things to do,” he insisted.

He referred in particular to the effects of climate change that are already knocking, coastal erosion, melting permafrost, heat islands in large cities.

And also, the Prime Minister also referred to other sources of municipal financing, including the tax pact this autumn between the government and municipalities, as well as significant gains in infrastructure promised by the program budgets new federal government Justin Trudeau.

“There are already a lot of money available for infrastructure,” summarized Mr. Couillard.

The official opposition has stated that recourse to the Green Fund was a “good idea” but called into doubt its management, referring to a report by the Sustainable Development Commissioner filed in 2014.

“We must ensure to have a management that is efficient and transparent, said in press briefing on PQ leader Pierre Karl Péladeau, also in Paris to take part in the UN conference. There is a level of opacity (in the management of funds). We’ll have to give appropriate rules. ”

For his part, the head caquiste François Legault, also in Paris, has echoed the concerns of municipalities. He said the Liberal government acted to listen cities.

“The Quebec government should help municipalities fund the most effective measures, he has said in press briefing. I do not understand why there is a great lack of coordination between the government and municipalities. Mr. Couillard should consult with municipalities before filing his plan. ”

Couillard The government set in its plan its own target of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 37.5 percent below the 1990 level.

Quebec has managed to reduce its emissions by 8 percent GHG compared to 1990 levels in 2012, surpassing the 2 percent reduction target it had set for this horizon.

2020, Quebec has set the goal of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent below 1990 levels.

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