Groups denounce gas company’s lawsuit seeking to overturn a Quebec municipality’s partial ban on fossil gas in new buildings: Énergir wants to prevent municipalities from fighting the climate crisis 

Groups denounce gas company’s lawsuit seeking to overturn a Quebec municipality’s partial ban on fossil gas in new buildings: Énergir wants to prevent municipalities from fighting the climate crisis 

Press release

Montreal – November 15, 2023 – Sixteen environmental and community groups [1] based in Quebec vigorously denounce Energir’s legal offensive against the small municipality of Prévost and are calling on the company’s owners to intervene. The Quebec gas giant is attempting to overturn a bylaw aimed at limiting the use of fossil-gas-powered equipment in buildings in order to combat the climate crisis. They say the lawsuit runs counter to Énergir’s public claim to be an important partner in the municipal energy transition.

The groups say that the lawsuit filed against Prévost proves that Énergir doesn’t really want municipalities to implement the energy transition. “Will the company sue every municipality that adopts bylaws to promote the transition? Énergir is not acting as an agent of change, but simply as a fossil gas distributor that has no hesitation in obstructing municipal initiatives and undermining collective efforts to combat climate change when anyone stands in its way.” 

The role of cities in climate action is now recognized as essential by the United Nations (UN), since at least 70% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions are generated on their territory. Cities also bear the brunt of the impact of climate disruption on the infrastructure, safety and health of their citizens. In this context, the people of Quebec cannot allow Energir to attack head-on a municipal government that is simply assuming its responsibility in the face of the climate crisis.

CDPQ and Fonds de solidarité FTQ must intervene

The Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) and the Fonds de solidarité FTQ, which jointly own 100% of Energir, claim to be committed to a low-carbon economy. This means that they have a responsibility to intervene in this lawsuit against a municipality that chooses to turn away from fossil fuels in favor of cleaner energies.

It is essential that the CDPQ, like the Fonds de solidarité FTQ, take immediate action to urge Energir to abandon this lawsuit and reorient its business model towards a profound decarbonization of the economy, by eliminating hydrocarbons and investing in renewable energies, energy efficiency and energy savings. The groups consider that the CDPQ, which holds 50% of the seats on Energir’s Board of Directors, and the Fund, which also has influence on the Board, have a duty to demand these changes and to divest in the event of the gas company’s refusal to act. This must be done in accordance with the principles of just transition, and involve workers 

The groups conclude by pointing out that this lawsuit comes just as the UN publishes the 2023 Report on the Gap between Fossil Fuel Production Needs and Prospects, in which gas is presented as it should be: a fossil fuel to be eliminated alongside coal and oil.


For information:

Patrick Bonin, Climate-Energy Campaigner, Greenpeace Canada

Cell: 514-594-1221,

Stéphanie Harnois, Communications and Public Affairs Specialist, David Suzuki Foundation

Cell: 418 576-4854, 

Jean-Pierre Finet, analysis and spokesperson, Regroupement des organismes environnementaux en énergie

Cell: 514-515-1957,

[1] The groups include the David Suzuki Foundation, Coalition Sortons la Caisse du carbone, Greenpeace Canada, Regroupement des organismes environnementaux en énergie (ROEÉ), Mobilisation environnement Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Association québécoise des médecins pour l’environnement (AQME), Imagine Lachine-Est, Travailleuses et travailleurs pour la justice climatique, Climate Action Network Canada, Regroupement vigilance hydrocarbures Québec, Environnement Vert Plus, Fondation Coule pas chez nous, Vivre en Ville, Pour Nos Enfants – Montréal, Équiterre and Nature Québec

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