The 2015 UN Climate Change conference in Paris begins this upcoming Monday. In the midst of this event the Quebec government is currently holding a controversial stance on energy transition. Many new studies, about 4000 pages long, have been made public very recently. Continued fossil fuel use in Quebec is an issue that needs wider public discussion. The Quebec government seems to be more interested in continued fossil fuel exploitation and consumption rather than using cleaner alternatives. The goal is to nearly eliminate all usage of fossil fuels by 2050.
Many public organizations, including the David Suzuki Foundation, are concerned that they have been given such short notice to provide a proper strategic environmental assessment on the usage of fossil fuels and transitioning towards cleaner alternatives. Jean-Patrick Toussaint, the spokesperson for the David Suzuki Foundation, provides some more insight on our goals for the future considering the current economical and environmental status in Quebec.
This is an ongoing assessment that will continue well after the conference in Paris. The David Suzuki Foundation, as well as other affiliated organizations, plan on furthering the discussion based on what bills will be proposed in the future at the National Assembly concerning fossil fuel exploitation and usage.
This interview was produced by Dinith Karunanayake.
Last Friday, May 23rd, three students and one faculty member, representing the climate justice campaign Divest McGill, met with Principal and Vice-Chancellor of McGill University Suzanne Fortier. They discussed fossil fuel divestment for the school’s endowment. The group requested this meeting in order to gain her support and a better understanding of the principal’s stance on divestment, but Ms Fortier made it clear that this issue was not on the school’s priority list. McGill University invests in 645 publicly traded corporations. Fourteen of them are involved in the tar sands, while thirty-five others are among the world’s largest fossil fuel corporations. But in the words of Divest McGill, it is not an investment if it is wrecking the planet. We talk to Amina Moustaqim-Barrette from Divest McGill and Andre Beslisle from the Association Quebecoise de Lutte Contre la Pollution Atmospherique.