Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Guilbeault announces 275,000 trees and $187 million for the climate

$40 million in federal funding is expected to plant more than 275,000 trees in the Greater Montreal area under the national Two Billion Trees program.

The first initiative, led by the Société de vertissement du Montréal métropolitain (SOVERDI) and the Urban Forest Alliance, aims to plant 200,000 trees on private and institutional land by 2030, particularly through thousands of projects in courtyards, schools, hospitals and parking lots.

The federal government must invest $20 million in the project, an amount equal to that provided by the City of Montreal. Another $20 million will be distributed by other municipalities in the metropolitan area where the trees will be planted.

The second initiative, in collaboration with the City of Montreal, should make it possible to plant more than 64,000 trees over two years in areas of the city that are prone to heat waves.

Trees will be used to naturally cool the heat islands in the city’s 19 districts, but also to reduce the effects of flooding, reduce noise pollution and enhance biodiversity.

For the project, the Government of Canada will provide a grant of approximately $20 million, while the Government of Quebec will contribute approximately $11 million and the City of Montreal $10 million.

We know that the best tool we have to fight climate change is nature. It is one of our best tools for building prosperous and livable cities, said Minister Guilbeault in a press release.

“More than a quarter of the new trees planted in Montreal will contribute in some way to making the city happier and the planet healthier. »

– A quote from the Federal Minister for the Environment, Steven Guilbeault

The Minister of the Environment also indicated that the funding of a third project allowed 11,000 trees to be planted in Vaudreuil-Dorrien in 2022.

A critical program

Two weeks ago, a report by Environment and Sustainable Development Commissioner Jerry V. DeMarco criticized the federal government’s tree planting program.

The Liberals first promised to plant 2 billion trees with the specific aim of capturing carbon during the 2019 federal election campaign and then budgeted $3.2 billion a year later to succeed.

An audit of the first two years of planting indicates that it appears the government is not on track to achieve even 4% of the promised trees by the end of 2030. Furthermore, the Government of Canada has not signed long-term project agreements with provinces or territories to deliver on its promises.

187 million for climate priorities

Minister Guilbeault will also announce $187 million on Wednesday to advance climate priorities in Quebec.

Of this amount, approximately $60 million will be used to help low-income households across the province switch from heating oil to more affordable alternatives to meet their energy needs.

The federal government will invest $127 million to support initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions [GES] by 2030 and it aligns with the carbon neutrality objectives of Canada and Quebec by 2050.

More details will emerge when the environment minister speaks on the second day of the Montreal climate summit. Minister Steven Guilbeault is also scheduled to announce $1.5 million in funding through the Green Municipal Fund on Monday to support 18 local initiatives across Quebec.

These initiatives should lead to increased energy efficiency and sustainability in key areas such as housing, transportation, municipal buildings and land use planning.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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