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Climate change will exacerbate the risks associated with poor air quality caused by increased air pollution. When it’s hot out, smog levels tend to rise and people may suffer from a number of health problems, including more serious and more frequent asthma attacks, difficulty breathing, and heart problems.
Rising temperatures and humidity levels also increase the amount of pollen (e.g., ragweed) in the air and its allergenic capacity. Allergenic plants now enjoy a longer growing season and are currently spreading to more northern regions. Ragweed is currently responsible for 75% of pollen-related allergies, affecting about one in 10 Quebecers, and this trend may increase.
Measures to fight against climate change help enhance air quality by reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and other contaminants and through local and regional management of air quality.
GHG reduction programs in the 2013−2020 Climate Change Action Plan (PDF). These programs are presented in the How to Take Action They help reduce GHG emissions related to transportation, industry, and energy, and therefore help enhance air quality.
Support for air quality monitoring activities. This measure is designed to promote the implementation of new environmental standards, increase regulatory oversight of air quality and control measures for industrial emissions, simplify mandatory reporting of emissions for businesses, and develop air quality management tools to complement regulatory instruments.
Québec strategy for reducing allergenic pollen (PDF) (in French). The aim of this strategy is to help municipalities adopt, plan, and implement monitoring plans for allergenic pollen—mainly ragweed pollen.