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Montréal Community Sustainable Development Plan

The objectives according to the plan

Reduce our greenhouse gas emissions

Reducing the city’s greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2020, compared with 1990

Reduce our greenhouse gas emissionsClimate change is one of the major issues of the 21st century, and scientific reports keep reiterating the urgency of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to limit the effects of global warming.

Cities have an important role to play in this new climate reality through their areas of responsibility: urban planning, infrastructure and transport networks, economic development, the environment, etc.

Montréal and the mayors of a number of cities made a commitment to reduce GHG emissions by 30% by 2020 during the fourth Municipal Leaders Summit on Climate Change held in December 2005 in Montréal. As a first step in this direction, in 2007 the Ville de Montréal adopted a plan to reduce its own GHG emissions by 20% by 2012.

Action 1 : Develop and implement a plan to reduce Montréal’s greenhouse gas emissions

Montréal does not currently have its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory for the year 1990. However, based on provincial findings, data was extrapolated to establish the probable order of magnitude, in megatons (MT) of CO2, of the city’s efforts to reduce its GHG emissions by 30%.

According to the inventory for Montréal, in 2003, the city’s GHG emissions were tallied at just under 14 MT. If we posit that Montréal’s GHG emissions have followed the same patterns as the province as a whole, we can assume the city would have emitted slightly more than 13 MT in GHGs in 1990. Based on preliminary estimates, and if these GHG levels persist, a 30% drop would represent a drop of roughly 4 MT in GHG emissions by 2020.

Montréal therefore undertakes to:

  • Develop and implement a plan to reduce Montréal’s greenhouse gas emissions for 2012–2020, containing an inventory of GHG emissions and quantifiable measures to reduce emissions by 30% compared with 1990.
Among other things, partners agree to:
  • Participate in implementing Montréal’s plan to reduce GHG emissions.
  • Develop and deploy a corporate plan to reduce GHG emissions.

Action 2 : Reduce automobile dependency

The transportation industry is the largest producer of GHG emissions, accounting for 48% of total emissions. It is thus crucial that we reduce our dependency on automobiles.

Montréal therefore undertakes to:
  • Implement the base-building projects stipulated in the Transportation Plan, such as:
    • Reinstating the streetcar system, rapid bus service with reserved lanes, and bus priority measures along arterial roads.
    • Doubling the cycling network within seven years.
    • Supporting the Société de transport de Montréal’s (STM’s) service-enhancement program.
  • Sustain efforts to obtain adequate funding for transportation, particularly for the active and public transportation initiatives outlined in the Transportation Plan and the STM’s forthcoming strategic plan for 2010–2020.
  • Introduce new shared taxi service for industrial parks and other low-density sectors.
  • Take further measures to encourage sustainable transportation for commuting to and from work and for business travel by its employees (such as Allégo).
  • Promote free access to public transit for university students by incorporating the cost of the transit pass into tuition fees for the eight months of the school year.
  • Increase the number of BIXI self-serve bicycles based on increases in usage.
  • Create a new urban development plan focusing on densification, the revitalization of central neighbourhoods and development centred on active and public transportation, among other things.
  • Ensure that major development projects and detailed planning areas are innovative and fulfill the municipal administration’s requirements concerning densification, multifunctional design, parking space reduction, the design of public spaces to promote active and public modes of transportation, spaces reserved for bicycles, self-serve bicycles and car sharing, etc.
Among other things, partners agree to:
  • Take measures to encourage sustainable transportation for commuting to and from work, home and school, and for business travel.
  • Install bicycle racks.
  • Provide infrastructures to encourage cycling (e.g. shelters, locked spaces, lockers, showers).

Action 3 : Reduce greenhouse gas emissions from existing and newly constructed residential, commercial or institutional buildings

The building sector accounts for 20% of GHG emissions, due in large part to the use of natural gas and heating oil.

Montréal therefore undertakes to:
  • Ensure that major development projects are innovative and fulfill the municipal administration’s requirements concerning energy efficiency (passive energy, local or certified production equipment, high-efficiency insulation and performance, etc.), and protecting and enhancing green spaces and landscape elements.
  • Tighten eligibility requirements for home construction and renovation subsidy programs (public and private housing) where energy efficiency is concerned.
  • Strengthen ties between municipal housing assistance programs and funding from governments and power suppliers through formal agreements.
  • Implement the energy measures set out in the sustainable development policy for municipal buildings, particularly by enforcing LEED Gold standards for new constructions greater than 500 m2 and LEED Silver standards for major renovations.
  • Gradually phase out HCFC refrigerants in arenas.
Among other things, partners agree to:
  • Improve insulation and energy efficiency in existing buildings.
  • Replace low-efficiency heating systems.
  • Meet stringent energy efficiency standards for new buildings.

Action 4 : Increase the environmental performance of its conventional vehicle fleet

Since 2008, a municipal by-law has prohibited vehicle engine idling for more than three minutes across the entire city. Leaving a gas engine running for five minutes a day can generate 250 kg in CO2 emissions per year. This is why eliminating unnecessary idling can reduce a vehicle’s GHG emissions by 5%. Now, the city wants to do even more.

Montréal therefore undertakes to:
  • Replace 300 sub-compact cars that have exceeded their useful life of 10 years by 2015 with fuel-efficient vehicles or vehicles running on alternative fuels proven to be environmentally friendly.
  • Replace half, or approximately 65, of the eight-cylinder gasoline vans with European-style six cylinder diesel engine vans by 2015.
  • Integrate leading high-efficiency technologies into the existing fleet (e.g. auto start-stop).
  • Train drivers on environmentally friendly driving habits, namely using a driving simulator.
Among other things, partners agree to:
  • Acquire green vehicles.
  • Integrate leading high-efficiency technologies into the existing fleet.
  • Train drivers on environmentally friendly driving habits.

Action 5 : Promote electrical transportation

Electric or hybrid vehicles considerably reduce our fossil fuel consumption. This makes it possible not only to reduce the city’s GHG emissions, but also to improve the quality of the air we breathe.

Montréal therefore undertakes to:
  • Acquire rechargeable electric or hybrid vehicles.
  • Set up recharging stations for rechargeable electric or hybrid vehicles in public parking lots or on public roads.
Among other things, partners agree to:
  • Acquire rechargeable electric or hybrid vehicles.
  • Install recharging stations on their premises.

Action 6 : Take part in climate change awareness campaigns

When it comes to protecting the environment and building a more sustainable society, all Montréalers have a part to play, i.e. by reducing their energy consumption.

Montréal therefore undertakes to:
  • Promote “climate challenge”-type awareness campaigns to staff and get at least 1,000 employees involved.
  • Participate in other public awareness campaigns on climate change.
Among other things, partners agree to:
  • Promote “climate challenge”-type awareness campaigns to staff.
  • Participate in other public awareness campaigns on climate change.