Northvolt: an outstretched hand

A response from Action boréale to Paolo Cerruti, co-founder of Northvolt and CEO of Northvolt, North America.

Dear Mr. Cerruti, welcome to Quebec.

In your letter of December 22 published in The Press⁠1, you brilliantly present to us the major Northvolt project which intends to contribute to decarbonizing the economy by producing one million “greenest batteries in the world” annually on the banks of the Richelieu. At Action Boréale, our expertise in this area may remain embryonic, but it does not allow us to compete with your enthusiasm. It just allows us to wonder if multifunctional harvesters with “green batteries” will have made any progress in protecting the environment, once clear-cutting has been carried out, once a place of biodiversity has been wiped out.

Even if it means disappointing you, transforming 1.4 billion cars by replacing the oil source with the electric source will contribute to accelerating the destruction of still natural ecosystems, these carbon sinks which constitute the most effective means of making gas rarefied. greenhouse effect. And that we are trying to protect, in Abitibi.

A drastic reduction in individual transport is necessary. We urgently need to use our natural, financial and human resources to develop efficient public and rail transport networks.

You want to “work hand in hand with groups who also care about the environment”. Let’s see how much. It is with extraordinary eagerness that our government has facilitated your arrival on the banks of the Richelieu. Given the size of the Northvolt project, the country’s laws require that it first be subject to a public assessment by the ministry responsible for the environment. To at least see to what degree nature will be affected. (One can easily imagine that the same is true in your country, in democratic Sweden).

Gold :

  • On the sly, last summer, the ministry fiddled with its own standards, thus allowing Northvolt to escape an evaluation.
  • He finally agreed to this evaluation which will however take place after the construction of the factory. Unheard of!

Did you participate in this conspiracy? All groups that care about the environment were stunned.

” Give a hand “. This is not the first time that you have extended your hand to us, Mr. Cerruti. Last October, thanks to everyone’s little money, we made a promise to give you $7 billion. As marks of goodwill go, that’s really hard to beat, isn’t it?

Mr. Cerruti, in return for all these public generosity and to demonstrate your good faith, would you be kind enough to formalize your agreement to hold public hearings under the conditions prevailing before the submission of your project? But first of all, would you also be kind enough to remove your eight lobbyists from the premises of the Quebec Parliament and its ministries?

Because, you see, our current government is too morally fragile to face this pressure. His integrity is challenged at every turn, in every way. Among other things for environmental issues, the most obvious of which: that of the Horne foundry in Rouyn-Noranda⁠2.

You end your collaboration proposal like this: “In the fight against climate change, we face a choice: sit back and do nothing, or stand up and take action. At Northvolt, we get up and move forward.”

Rest assured, Mr. Cerruti, that Action boréale also wants the people of the region and the environmental groups of the country to stand up and advance on your land to occupy it until the Office of Public Hearings on the environment (BAPE) has completed the mandate that would normally have been assigned to it.

2. After Prime Minister François Legault promised the population of the city of Rouyn-Noranda that they would decide for themselves whether they consented to an ambient arsenic standard five times higher than the Quebec standard, after the 67% of people refused the proposal, Legault decreed the deportation of the neighborhood!


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