The major polluters have not slowed down

Les grands pollueurs n’ont pas ralenti

Charles Lecavalier

If the government does not focus on economic recovery the green, it will go right in the wall with respect to its goals of reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, demonstrates our new stock of 100 largest polluters in Quebec.

This list that we present to you for a second year, demonstrates that were it not for the lock out at Aluminerie Bécancour inc. (ABI), the major polluters quebec would not have been able to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in 2018 compared to 2017. This is the most recent data available.

Worse, half of the 100 biggest polluters in Quebec pollute even more than five years ago.

It took that Quebec will be on hiatus this spring because of the COVID-19 to ensure that the 2020 target of reduction of GHG, the government Legault had abandoned, become possible to achieve.

The ministry of Environment of Québec shall publish officially its inventory for the year 2018 to the end of 2020, but our Bureau of investigation has obtained the preliminary data of the largest issuers.

Thanks to a lock-out

At first glance, the figures show a 2% decline in GHG emissions in large industries compared to 2017.

However, this improvement is mainly explained by the lock-out of ABI. Paralyzed, the company has reduced its production by nearly two-thirds, and it therefore is less polluted. She slipped off temporarily from the 8th to the 21st, emitting three times less GHG in 2017. The company has not responded to our interview request.

But it is difficult to believe that Quebec can achieve its environmental targets of a sudden conflict-of-work. If we exclude the ABI of the top 100 polluters in 2017 and 2018, there is an increase in emissions of 0.91 %.

Another change at the top : the sensational arrival of the cement plant McInnis in the top 10. In 2017, it was still in break-in and that it was 330 200 tonnes of GHG emissions. In 2018, it has been released into the atmosphere 885 000 tonnes of greenhouse gas and it jumped into sixth place. She is called to become the largest pollueuse of Quebec.

In comparison, a car that travels 20,000 km emits about 4 tonnes of CO2 per year.

This is also the sector of the cement plant, aluminum, metallurgy and refineries that still dominate our list.

Addicted to oil

The industrial sector represents approximately 30% of Québec’s overall GHG emissions. The more polluting, however, remains in the transport, but you cannot have one without the other.

The more we consume oil, more refineries are rotating at full speed. It is not surprising that the two biggest polluters are again this year the oil companies Valero in Lévis and Suncor in Montreal.

Pierre-Olivier Pineau, holder of the chair of management of the energy sector at HEC Montréal, says that the main factor, which is increase our consumption of fuel’s ” hemorrhage of the SUVS on our roads “.

Note, however, that the emissions of Valero fell by 12.3% in 2018, which means that the company loses its title of biggest pollueuse for the first time since 2013. Suncor him was thrilled with this title even if she has been doing better in 2017.

But once again, this decrease in emissions, Valero is temporary : it is due to a production shutdown for maintenance.

The company, however, is to do better. It invests$ 110 Million in projects to reduce its pollution, for example by reducing the emissions of dioxide of sulfur in motor gasoline.

Valero also wants to completely remove the oil as a combustion source to the refinery, said the spokesperson Marina Binotto.

Suncor has not responded to our interview request.

—With the collaboration of Philippe Langlois

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