Linkage of Québec-California carbon markets: national assembly gives green light
Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment, Wildlife and Parks, Yves-François Blanchet, and the Minister of International Relations, La Francophonie and External Trade, Jean-François Lisée announce Agreement between the Government of Québec and the California Air Resources Board Concerning the Harmonization and Integration of Cap-and-Trade Programs for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions
The Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment, Wildlife and Parks, Yves-François Blanchet, and the Minister of International Relations, La Francophonie and External Trade, Jean-François Lisée, are pleased to announce that the members of the National Assembly unanimously approved the Agreement between the Government of Québec and the California Air Resources Board Concerning the Harmonization and Integration of Cap-and-Trade Programs for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions.
As a result, on January 1, 2014, Québec and California (the most densely populated U.S. state) will be the first governments in North America to link their carbon markets as part of the Western Climate Initiative.
“With this alliance, Québec and California are showing the way in the fight against climate change and that’s what I’m going to stress at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Warsaw. The carbon market will contribute significantly to achieving our target to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 25% below 1990 levels by 2020,” said Minister Blanchet.
Beginning January 1, 2014, companies covered by Québec’s or California’s cap-and-trade systems will be able to trade greenhouse gas emission allowances. “Québec’s participation in this market confirms its status as a committed international player in the fight against climate change and will contribute to developing a green economy in Québec. For companies, it serves as an incentive to strive for excellence and go the extra mile in researching and developing new technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” noted Minister Lisée.
Linking Québec’s and California’s systems could lead to similar agreements with other governments. In fact, this new market is already generating interest among some U.S. states and Canadian provinces active in developing concerted strategies to address the challenges of climate change.
Accordingly, on October 28, the governors of California, Oregon and Washington and the premier of British Colombia unveiled a concerted energy and climate action plan that will shape their actions over the coming decades. One of the plan’s components includes establishing a carbon price signal in the respective territories of the states and province concerned, especially by relying on market mechanisms.
“I congratulate them on this agreement and their ongoing efforts in the fight against climate change. For us, this announcement represents new opportunities for collaboration with the U.S. states and west coast province involved. This collaboration began in 2008 when Québec joined the Western Climate Initiative and was further consolidated during my visits to Washington, DC last May and October. We will be pleased to continue working with these partners to develop sustainable and innovative approaches that will enable us to stand united in facing the challenges that lie ahead,” concluded Minister Blanchet.
Caroline Julie Fortin