Foundations, C40 Cities to Help Montreal Deliver on 2050 Carbon Neutral Target
The David Suzuki Foundation, C40 Cities, and the Trottier Family Foundation have formed a two-year partnership with Montreal to help it meet Mayor Valérie Plante’s goal of making the city carbon neutral by 2050.
“This partnership I hope will be a model to other cities globally,” said C40 North American Director and former Toronto mayor David Miller. “It’s the first one of its kind where private philanthropy is funding a partnership like this to create a plan for real action against climate change to produce carbon neutrality by 2050.”
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The city will spend two years and up to C$400,000 developing its 2050 plan, National Observer reports, after signing C40’s Deadline 2020 pledge, which commits signatories to release roadmaps consistent with a 1.5°C target for average global warming. The plan will take shape under C40’s guidance.
“When a government acts alone, it can face significant opposition,” said DSF Director General for Quebec Karel Mayrand. “When a government decides to work with partners, with experts, with the business community, and to rally people around the plan…it’s essentially a collective plan.”
“The partnership will help chart a path for change by analyzing sectors responsible for the majority of emissions, starting with transportation, which produces 43% of Quebec’s GHG emissions—of which 80% is from road traffic,” the Montreal Gazette states, citing provincial government data. Plante said the partnership will also look at buildings, which account for 10.8% of the city’s emissions, and at boosting public buy-in for climate action.
Plante added that Montreal’s efforts to cut transportation emissions would depend on provincial funding for initiatives like her proposed Pink Line subway expansion. Miller said he wouldn’t want to tell a province what to do. “But it’s my perspective from being involved in municipal politics for a very long time that city governments, especially the mayor, understand what the transport needs of their community are, and I think the policies and projects they develop should be the ones that are funded.”
Jean-François Parenteau, who holds the environment portfolio on city council, told Observer the new strategy will push beyond the scope of Montreal’s current sustainable development plan. Trottier Foundation Executive Director Éric St-Pierre “likened the new plan to a recipe, as opposed to a shopping list,” Observer notes. “He explained that while Montreal’s current plan may list the ingredients needed to bake a cake, it doesn’t provide the ratios or steps needed to see it through.”