May 23, 2024

The Queens County Citizen

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More than half of Quebecers agree to ban natural gas heating, according to a survey

More than half of Quebecers agree to ban natural gas heating, according to a survey

More than half of Quebecers believe natural gas heating should be banned in new construction due to environmental concerns and health risks.

A recent CROP survey, conducted among 1,000 respondents on behalf of the Let's Get Out of the Gas coalition and which will appear on the eve of the climate summit tomorrow, demonstrates that natural gas is not recognized as a green energy as some have suggested.

Respondents believe that natural gas is more polluting than solar or wind power and hydropower.

The most popular energy sources are hydroelectric (49%) and solar (33%) while only 1% of respondents use the latter energy source. Natural gas is the preferred heating method for only 5% of respondents.

“We feel our message is getting through,” said Patricia Clermont, Quebec media manager for the Quebec Association of Physicians for the Environment, a member of the coalition.

Patricia Clermont, spokesperson for Quebec Physicians for the Environment, a member of Let's Get Out the Gas.

Photo by Pierre-Paul Poulin

However, about 42% of the respondents believe that Energir is a company that produces renewable energy. Although the company has invested in wind projects, it remains the largest distributor of fossil natural gas in Quebec.

Sorton's Le Gaz coalition also accused Energir of greenwashing last year because renewable natural gas accounted for just 1% of its distribution.

However, only 19% believe that Gaz Metro has produced renewable energy. Actually, this is the old name of Energir.

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The coalition agreed that the name change was very “clever”. “But at the same time, we see people talking to themselves [le gaz] Not the right solution,” she said.

Over the past year, the coalition has spoken out publicly to highlight the dangers of gas stoves, citing studies reporting cases of asthma among children in the United States.

To the question: “In your opinion, to what extent is the general use of gas stoves harmful to health?” 14% believe there is a very high risk and 37% believe there is a moderate risk, while 29% believe the risk is low.

Cities take action

Some cities, including the municipality of Prevost in Laurentians, have begun adopting regulations in recent months to partially ban natural gas in new construction. According to the survey, between 50% and 60% of respondents agree with this type of initiative.

Energir sued the municipality before finally withdrawing because of the concessions. Montreal will ban oil or gas heating appliances in new construction starting in October.

A few days ago, the Metropolitan Community of Montreal, which consists of 82 municipalities, also approved this type of ban on small buildings. However, the Quebec government must first give its agreement.

This type of regulation has been debated in several cities in Quebec.

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