Quebec sets 2020 greenhouse gas emission targets

Tue Nov 24, 2009 10:40am EST
 
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia (Reuters) - The Canadian province of Quebec said on Monday it aims to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, the same target as that set by the European Union.

"It is a very ambitious target for the government, given that 48 percent of Quebec's total energy currently comes from renewable energy sources," Quebec Premier Jean Charest said in a statement.

Much of Quebec's power comes from massive hydroelectric projects.

Quebecers emit approximately 11 tons per capita of greenhouse gasses, which are blamed for climate change. That is half the Canadian average, Charest said.

The mostly French-speaking province is a member of the Western Climate Initiative, a group of four Canadian provinces and seven western U.S. states, which is working on implementing a carbon cap and trade system in North America by 2012.

Canada's federal government has pledged to cut carbon emissions by 20 percent from 2006 levels by 2020. However, Ottawa is waiting for the United States to finalize its cap-and-trade program before proceeding with its own.

British Columbia pledged in 2007 to cut its emissions of greenhouse gases by 33 percent by 2020, which would put them 10 percent under 1990 levels.

(Reporting by Nicole Mordant and Allan Dowd; editing by Rob Wilson)