Montréal Climate Plan: Objective carbon-neutral by 2050

Last updated December 15, 2020
Reading time: 2 min

In response to the climate emergency, Montréal is committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions with the objective of becoming carbon-neutral by 2050. The 46 measures in the Climate Plan will set Montréal on the path to being a resilient, inclusive and carbon-neutral city.

Climate Plan: 46 actions to meet our target

In order to achieve carbon neutrality, Montréal has adopted a Climate Plan featuring 46 measures. As part of the effort to implement them, we will:

  • Mobilize Montrealers 
  • Accelerate the adoption of more sustainable modes of transportation (public transit, walking, cycling)
  • Reduce the use of fossil fuels in buildings
  • Make our living environments greener
  • Reduce food waste

Becoming carbon-neutral means exerting zero impact on the climate. Montréal will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) as much as possible. It will offset the GHGs already released into the atmosphere, for example  by planting trees and creating new green spaces. Trees and other plants absorb carbon dioxide (CO2), one of the leading sources of GHGs.

Resilience, meanwhile, lies in our capacity to resist sudden shocks, such as the COVID-19 pandemic or the 2019 spring flooding in Montréal. It is also a measure of our ability to adapt to chronic problems, such as rising temperatures, heat waves and heavy rainfall.

Inclusivity means ensuring that no one is left out and that everyone benefits from the changes brought about by the Climate Plan.

Why strive for carbon neutrality?

The consequences of climate change include extreme heat, drought, catastrophic forest fires, flooding and rising sea levels. In Montréal, the impacts of global warming are already being felt in the form of heat waves, flooding, free-thaw cycles, and the list goes on.

Human activity is the leading culprit when it comes to the GHG emissions that cause global warming. GHGs in the atmosphere trap the heat of the sun on Earth, much like the transparent walls of a greenhouse, thereby causing global temperatures to rise.

In Montréal, the two leading sources of GHGs are vehicle fossil fuels and residential natural gas heating systems.

The destruction of natural environments also contributes to global warming by eliminating GHG-absorbing trees and other plants.

If nothing is done, the problems arising from global warming will only get worse. We must rapidly reduce GHG emissions into the atmosphere. The fight against climate change is our collective responsibility. We can lead the battle by working together.

It is not too late to act

The challenge, while daunting, is not impossible to overcome. In order to avoid the worst consequences, we must limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5°C, which is the threshold set by the international community. In order to succeed, we must reduce our GHG emissions by 55% between now and 2030. The next decade will be crucial for achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

Like Montréal, cities such as New York, Paris and Toronto have pledged to become carbon-neutral by 2050. Montréal has already taken action on multiple fronts to fight climate change, for example by promoting active transportation and public transit, and by creating parks. But we must do more. 

By taking collective action, we will succeed in reducing our GHG emissions, protecting our biodiversity and natural environments, and improving our quality of life. Together, let’s adopt concrete actions to make our city carbon-neutral, resilient and inclusive.