While governments, international organizations, companies, and members of the general public are ramping up their actions and commitments to achieve carbon neutrality, some oil and gas companies in Quebec are taking legal action against the government to weaken the regulatory framework governing their operations. In light of this disturbing trend and in the context of a climate emergency, the CQDE is publishing a report today that confirms that “the Quebec National Assembly has all the powers necessary to adopt a law putting an end to the oil and gas industry throughout its territory, without compensation.”

A few days after the publication of the International Energy Agency’s latest report, “Net Zero by 2050,” which concludes that in order to achieve carbon neutrality, no new oil and gas projects should be exploited or developed by the end of this year, the CQDE is unveiling its own research findings.

Faced with the increasing disinterest and disinvestment of governments and private investors in this industry, particularly in Quebec, some oil and gas companies are reacting aggressively and turning to the courts, sometimes to claim compensation, sometimes to try to weaken the legal framework governing their operations. Since autumn 2018, a total of three such lawsuits have been filed against the government, including two cases where we intervened before the courts.

(Read more about these lawsuits here and here – in French)

Our conclusion is simple and unequivocal: “If the political will is to respect Quebec’s commitments in the fight against climate change and to position itself as a leader in this area, the province has the power to adopt a law putting an end to the oil and gas industry on its territory, without compensation for the companies affected, even retroactively.”

“The consequences of the climate crisis are forcing us to review the way we exploit the territory in order to act responsibly and ensure the protection of the entire population. We hope that this report will provide legislators with relevant information to facilitate reflection and informed decision-making concerning the future of oil and gas operations in Quebec,” explains Geneviève Paul, Executive Director of the CQDE.

(available only in French)