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Quebec Liberals Pledge to Curtail Oil and Gas Development, End Fossil Investment in Five Years

The Quebec Liberal Party (QLP) will ask the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) to withdraw from the fossil fuel industry within five years if it is elected to lead the government next year.

The Liberals made the announcement in a news release Sunday morning, the Canadian Press reports.

Within the first 100 days of a new government, the party would also introduce a bill to formalize the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050 for Quebec and would put an end to oil and gas development in the province.

Party leader Dominique Anglade said Quebec must listen to scientists and “go green” with concrete measures to fight climate change, CP says. “It is for this reason that her party believes CDPQ investments should reflect the values of Quebecers, making it necessary to push the fund to turn to renewable energy,” the news agency writes.

Anglade also committed to stopping all oil and gas development, which her party says “is not, even temporarily, a solution to the fight against climate change and the achievement of international climate goals.”

A provincial Liberal government would no longer grant permits for fossil development and would also “terminate existing development permits” and secure abandoned production sites, CP adds, citing the release.

The Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) government’s Plan for a Green Economy includes a plan to move Quebec towards carbon neutrality by 2050, but the Liberals say it needs to go one step further by introducing legislation. They’re also proposing to form a new Climate Institute to measure the province’s progress toward net-zero.

The party claims it’s in the best position to fight climate change, since “the CAQ pits environmental protection against economic performance”, while opposition party Québec Solidaire “talks about the environment without thinking about the economy.”

The next provincial election is due to take place in October 2022.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on September 19, 2021.