Montréal and climate change
Global warming is no longer a debate in the scientific community. In Quebec, average annual temperatures have increased by about 1 to 3 °C since 1950. In Montréal, weather observations indicate an increase in average temperatures, warmer and humid nights, and heavy rainfalls. The City is implementing initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and adapt to climate change.
GHG Emissions Reduction
In 2005, Montréal committed to reduce citywide GHG emissions by 30% before 2020 compared to the reference year (1990). As a municipal government, Montréal aims to position itself as a role model for the citywide community in reducing GHG emissions. That is why, in 2005, the city committed to reduce municipal activities GHG emissions by 20% before 2012 compared to 2002. This objective was achieved in 2010. In 2013, Montréal took another commitment to reduce municipal activities GHG emissions by 30% before 2020.
To achieve these targets, Montréal has developed several tools, including two reduction plans that propose measures targeting mainly the transportation and stationary energy sectors (residential, commercial, industrial and institutional). Many observations were made on these sectors in the progress reports carried out in 2017. The objective of this exercise was to determine whether or not it is necessary to revise the plan’s objectives based on the observations made in 2017 and the evolution of Montréal’s citywide GHG emissions sources.
Our international commitments
Montreal considers the fight against climate change as one of its priorities and wants to position itself as a world leader. To do so, the city participates in various innovative initiatives like the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), Global Covenant of Mayors and C40.
In December 2015, the Montréal administration has endorsed the declaration from the Climate Summit for Local Leaders held in Paris as part of COP21. Among other things, this commitment aims to reduce the citywide’s GHG emissions by 80% for 2050, target included in the Sustainable Montréal 2016-2020 Plan, with an intermediate target for 2030, so that local governments overall reduce GHG emissions by 3.7 Gt beyond national commitments.
Montréal endorsed the Chicago Climate Charter in December 2017 and the Edmonton Declaration in June 2018. The city will be attending the upcoming San Francisco Global Action Climate Summit.
Montréal is adapting to climate change
In November 2015, Montreal adopted its first Climate Change Adaptation Plan for the Montréal Urban Agglomeration 2015-2020. This first plan highlights Montreal's vulnerabilities to climate change and the observed and anticipated impacts on the population, infrastructure, the natural environment and all activities taking place on the island. It also presents all the commitments made by the agglomeration to cope with these climatic events.
With this adaptation plan, Central Departments, the boroughs and the municipalities have made many ambitious commitments. The measures were announced are announcing aim, among other things, to reduce heat islands, protect biodiversity, manage runoff water, increase infrastructure resilience, and adopt new practices in regard to the range of recreational activities on offer, to name just a few.
In 2017, a partnership was signed between the Ville de Montreal and Ouranos (a non-profit organization that develops and coordinates projects by tapping into a network of approximately 450 researchers, experts, practitioners and policy-makers from a variety of disciplines). This partnership will result in the implementation of innovative projects on adaptation, including a living laboratory on climate and revision of climate projections.