Policy Analysis

Meeting Canada's Subsidy Phase-Out Goal: What it means in Quebec

IISD takes a preliminary look at consumer fossil fuel subsidies in Quebec, which it estimates at roughly CAD 270 million in 2015.

By Frédéric Gagnon-Lebrun, Yanick Touchette on November 25, 2016

Quebec has taken steps to address its greenhouse gas emissions, most notably through the implementation of a cap-and-trade mechanism. This is definitely a step in the right direction in addressing climate change.

However, as long as fossil fuel subsidies and other financial supports exist, they will continue to challenge efforts to reduce emissions in Quebec as well as meeting Canada’s G7 subsidy elimination target. This commentary takes a very preliminary look at consumer fossil fuel subsidies in Quebec. Our initial research identifies roughly CAD 270 million in 2015 in the form of financial supports for the consumption of fossil fuels.

The supports for fossil fuel use identified here are a good place to start to look at reforms. They are not the only supports in place, and we also suggest increased transparency on the foregone revenue represented by the additional, unquantified items. Subsidy reform should be bundled with other policies that help affected industries and workers to adjust. Here, the federal government will need to work closely with the provinces, including Quebec.

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