Quebec launches a new mobilization program for climate action

A new budget envelope will be devoted to citizen initiatives in the fight against climate change in Quebec. Environment Minister Benoit Charette made the announcement Sunday during a meeting with the Quebec delegation to COP27 in Sharm-el-Sheikh, Egypt.

Quebec wishes to encourage civil society to get involved through its Mobilization Strategy for Climate Action, which is an extension of other programs that have funded mobilization actions in the past.

The amount of $46.4 million responds to a frequent request from groups consulted by the department, according to Mr. Charette. This is an increased amount, he adds, compared to previous programs.

By way of example, he cites in particular the media specializing in climate action Unpointcinq and the Barometer of climate action, which have benefited from the financial support of the government.

Since 2016, approximately $35 million has been granted to 84 projects to fight climate change under the Action-Climat Québec program, including Agriclimat to help farms adapt to climate change, the Mouvement VÉLOSYMPATHIQUE which encourages the creation of favorable environments for cycling, the Connected Meetings to promote electric cars as well as dozens of local projects.

The new envelope of $46.4 million is spread over the next five years.

« If the demand were to be significant, for us, this is the kind of initiative that we want to promote, so it will always be possible to consider renewed funding if ever the sums were to run out more quickly than anticipated », specifies Mr. Charette in an interview with The Canadian Press.

Interested groups will be able to present their mobilization initiative during calls for projects, which will be evaluated by the ministry.

Calling all

All groups are invited to participate, specifies the minister. However, the government also has the will to support indigenous communities in their climate actions.

“As part of the preparation of the Plan for a green economy, we consulted the Aboriginal communities and we promised them initiatives that could directly affect their community,” underlines Mr. Charette.

The Green Economy Plan is a framework policy for electrification and the fight against climate change unveiled two years ago. The goal is to have a low-carbon and resilient society by 2030.

Organizations offering training to the general public are also encouraged to participate. “The initiatives and possibilities are very, very numerous,” added the Minister, citing the example of training in waste management given by an organization.

It is also an additional tool for municipalities wishing to encourage their residents to come together to take action. For example, « a municipality [voulant] accompany a group of citizens to help mobilize a neighborhood in order to achieve a particular objective” could apply for funding under the Mobilization Strategy for Climate Action.

Other programs are available to municipalities to deal with climate change, he recalls.

“For the local climate transition (TCL), a fund of $200 million will be available from the beginning of 2023 to [que les municipalités mettent] put in place plans to fight climate change,” explains Mr. Charette.

During the election campaign, the mayors of Quebec had united to claim $2 billion per year to adapt their infrastructures to climate change.

The minister is at the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27), Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, until Wednesday. A hundred Quebecers are also present.

Sunday, a meeting is organized in the afternoon with representatives of civil society, more than thirty organizations. The Minister will then meet the members of the economic delegation.

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