Quebec to ban sale of gas-powered cars by 2035 as part of climate plan
Quebec will ban the sale of new, gasoline-powered cars and SUVs by the year 2035 as part of a $6.7-billion plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Premier François Legault announced Monday.
Legault said the new policy will help the province meet its pledge to reduce emissions by 37.5 per cent over 1990 levels by 2030. But the premier admitted that the new measures will only move Quebec 42 per cent of the way to its goal. He said he hopes technological advances and added investment from Ottawa will help close the gap.
“We have a duty to the next generations,” Legault told a news conference alongside Environment Minister Benoît Charette.
“As I said when I was getting sworn in as premier, I could not look my two sons in the eye if I didn’t make efforts to meet this enormous challenge that all of us on the planet have.”
Legault’s $6.7-billion plan — to be spread over five years — depends heavily on the province’s hydroelectric resources powering large swaths of the economy. More than half the funding announced Monday — about $3.6 billion — will be invested in the transportation sector, for such things as subsidies to encourage individuals and businesses to purchase electric cars, trains and taxis.
Legault dismissed criticism that electric vehicles are costly, have a limited range and can be problematic for people who live in apartments and don’t have access to a wide supply of charging stations. He said the state will continue to offer subsidies and that he expected battery technology to improve over the next 15 years.
The government’s investment will also pay for more electric charging stations and to convert buildings to electric heating, he said.