Montreal unveils an ambitious plan to meet its climate targets

10 Dec 2020


Go back to NewsMontreal unveils an ambitious plan to meet its climate targets

The city of Montreal is proud to unveil its 2020-2030 Climate Plan today. Composed of 46 concrete and comprehensive measures, it will enable Montréal to achieve the ambitious targets it has set for itself for the ecological transition, namely a 55% reduction in the community's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2030 (compared to 1990), as well as achieving carbon neutrality by 2040 for its own operations and by 2050 for the community. The Climate Plan also aims to strengthen the resilience of the Montréal community by engaging the public, promoting sustainable mobility and the electrification of transport, energy efficiency in buildings and green design. It would also allow the city to direct its decisions and investments towards adapting to climate uncertainties.

"Before the global health crisis hit, the climate crisis was at the heart of our concerns. Montreal witnessed a historic march in September 2019 that brought together 500,000 people calling for concrete action on climate change. The COVID-19 pandemic turned everything upside down. But the year 2020 also highlighted the importance of a resilient, human-scale city. A city that offers quality green spaces to its population. The Climate Plan we are unveiling will enable Montréal to improve the quality of life of its population over the short-term, medium-term and long-term through a recovery that we hope will be both green and inclusive. Our plan will also enable Montréal to meet its commitments and maintain its leadership role in the fight against climate change," declares Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante.

"Montrealers have clearly indicated that they are ready to act for the future of our planet. It is therefore in collaboration with the population, community organizations, merchants, businesses and city employees that we have designed a Climate Plan that meets our collective aspirations. The plan's actions are structured around five major areas and will have a particularly significant impact on mobilization, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the adaptation to climate change. Like other major cities around the world, Montreal is on the front lines of climate change. The time has come to act and the Climate Plan we are presenting gives us the means to achieve our ambitious targets," added Laurence Lavigne Lalonde, who is responsible for the ecological transition and resilience, Liveable Spaces and urban agriculture on the executive committee.

● The 2020-2030 Climate Plan includes 46 specific actions, including 16 flagship measures, grouped into 5 priority areas targeting the mobilization of the Montreal community, mobility, urban planning and development, buildings, the city being an exemplary model and good governance. Among the actions that will have the most significant impacts are:

● Planting, maintaining and protecting 500,000 trees, with priority given to areas vulnerable to heat waves;

● Promoting sustainable mobility in neighbourhoods and future urban developments, such as the Hippodrome site;

● Encouraging and increasing the proportion of electric vehicles in the city centre;

● Encourage greenification and stimulate the densification of the city through the conversion of open-air parking lots;

● Adapt regulations and support programs to improve the energy efficiency and adaptability of all types of buildings;

● Improve the energy performance of large buildings through a rating and disclosure system for their energy consumption and GHG emissions;

● Transform 100% of the municipal building portfolio into an operational zero carbon portfolio;

● Impose a climate benchmark on all of the city's decisions in order to limit their GHG emissions and maximize their adaptability to climate change;

● Devote 10% to 15% of the budget of the City of Montréal's Ten-Year Capital Expenditure Programme to the adaptation to climate change.

To report on the plan's progress and the achievement of its targets, Montréal will publish an annual progress report on the various actions it contains.

Mobilized for the climate

The city of Montreal has set itself ambitious goals and to achieve them, the mobilization of the entire community is necessary. As such, the Climate Plan is the result of ongoing collaborative sessions with various administrative units, public stakeholders and experts from diverse fields. In addition, various OCPM public consultations have guided the Climate Plan and will continue to influence its implementation, including consultations on neighbourhood planning. In 2019, as part of the consultation entitled Rêvons Montréal, Montrealers and city staff expressed their views on Montreal's main values and priorities for action. Their responses guide the city's strategic alignment and have contributed to the development of the Climate Plan.

Finally, the Climate Plan Advisory Committee grew out of the two-year agreement reached in 2018 with the C40 Climate Leadership Group, the Trottier Family Foundation and the David Suzuki Foundation, to develop a climate plan for Montréal aimed at achieving the carbon neutrality targets set out in the One planet Charter, a roadmap defined by the C40, to which Montréal is a signatory. In 2019, this collaboration was expanded to include six new partners, the CIUSSS Centre-sud-de-l'île-de-Montréal, the Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Family Foundation, the J.W McConnell Family Foundation, the Caisse de dépôt et de placement du Québec, the Echo Foundation, and the Fondation Espace pour la vie. The work of the Committee, composed of 19 members from various backgrounds, took place from June 2019 to March 2020.

"For over a year, the members of the City of Montreal's Climate Plan Advisory Committee have been committed to advancing the City's reflections on climate issues and carbon neutrality. This example of sustained collaboration is illustrated by the plan that is being introduced today. It is important for us to maintain this collaboration to support the fight against climate change and the transition of our city," said Kim Thomassin, Senior Vice-President and Head of Investments in Quebec and Sustainable Investment at the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and co-chair of the Climate Plan Advisory Committee.

"This plan benefited from an unprecedented mobilization of Montreal's philanthropic leaders in the face of the climate crisis, as several Montreal foundations joined forces to fund scientific expertise and bring together players from the business community and the broader public to give Montreal an ambitious plan that addresses the climate emergency. Achieving our climate objectives will now require mobilization on all fronts, which is why the Trottier Family Foundation and the Foundation of Greater Montreal have initiated the creation of the Montreal Climate Partnership, which will bring together major economic and institutional players to position the fight against climate change at the heart of Montreal's recovery," said Karel Mayrand, President and CEO of the Foundation of Greater Montreal and co-chair of the Climate Plan Advisory Committee.

"As we celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Paris Agreement in two days, Montreal is responding with a Climate Plan made by Montrealers and for Montrealers. This plan responds to the concerns and the need for urgent action through concrete measures. The work that we must undertake together is essential and will enable us to ensure a healthier future for our children and their children. I would like to take this opportunity to warmly thank our partners, the members of the Advisory Committee and all those who contributed to the development of the Climate Plan, always keeping in mind the interests of the population and the role that the City can play in the ecological transition," concluded Mayor Plante.

The 2020-2030 Climate Plan can be accessed online on the Ville de Montréal's website.