Quebec Plans Coal Phase-Out by 2030 in Move to Curb Emissions

  • Province aims to cut oil consumption by 40 percent in 15 years
  • Renewables to represent 61% of total consumption by then

Quebec wants to cut oil consumption by 40 percent over the next 15 years and eliminate thermal-coal usage as Canada’s second most populous province strives to reduce carbon emissions.

The province is earmarking C$4 billion ($3 billion) for investments in improved energy efficiency between 2016 and 2030, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Pierre Arcand said. Arcand was one of four ministers flanking Premier Philippe Couillard at a press conference in Montreal Thursday to discuss the government’s energy strategy.

Quebec has already committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by about 38 percent by 2030. Through its state-owned utility, Hydro-Quebec, the province is the world’s fourth-largest producer of hydroelectric power.

“We must make a radical change in our consumption habits,” Couillard said.

Among other goals unveiled Thursday, Quebec wants to boost renewable energy production by 25 percent, improve energy efficiency by 15 percent and increase bioenergy output by 50 percent. Quebec will also review the role of the provincial energy board and streamline the authorization process for energy projects, Arcand said without being specific.

Quebec wants renewable energy such as hydro power to represent about 61 percent of total consumption by 2030, Arcand said. That’s up from about 48 percent now, according to a government statement.

Oil accounted for about 40 percent of all energy consumed in the province in 2013, government documents show. That compared with 37 percent for hydroelectricity, 15 percent for natural gas, 7 percent for bioenergy and less than 1 percent for coal.

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