Western Climate Initiative partners unveil their detailed program
AN IMPORTANT STEP TOWARDS THE DEVELOPMENT OF A NORTH AMERICAN CARBON MARKET
Quebec, July 27, 2010 – Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks Line Beauchamp is delighted by the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) announcement of its detailed greenhouse gas (GHG) Cap-and-Trade program. This is an important step that will enable member partners to harmonize their respective regulatory frameworks with the WCI program, moving forward to a joint North American carbon market.
“Québec is taking structural measures to fight climate change, and the Cap-and-Trade mechanism is a key tool that can make it possible to reach the self-imposed GHG reduction target of 20% below 1990 levels by 2020. Beginning in 2012, the WCI program will be a centrepiece in our strategy to confront this environmental and societal challenge,” declared Minister Beauchamp.
The Cap-and-Trade program imposes regulatory GHG reduction targets on companies while opening up access to the carbon market, thus providing the flexibility they need to attain those numbers. The unique characteristic of the WCI program is that it covers the industries that are the heaviest emitters of GHG and includes a complementary system of compensatory credits.
Québec took several important steps along this road in the last year. In June 2009, the National Assembly passed a law to enable adoption of regulatory mechanisms that were required to set up a GHG Cap-and-Trade system. In June 2010, the Ministère began public consultations on the draft regulation amending the Regulation respecting mandatory reporting of certain emissions of contaminants into the atmosphere. The next step will be the development of regulations on a GHG emission ceiling mechanism for entities that fall within the purview of this system. All of these Québec legislative and regulatory tools will be harmonized with the final WCI rules that were unveiled today.
Québec joined the WCI (a grouping of seven American states and four Canadian provinces including Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia, whose purpose is to develop and implement policies and programs aimed at achieving GHG emission reductions) in April 2008.
For the Montréal Climate Exchange, having Québec within the WCI regional program provides a unique opportunity to enable the exchange to broaden its activities and offer improved carbon market access services to Québec and Canadian companies. “Québec is well-placed to become an important player in a market that has great potential over the coming years,” concluded Minister Beauchamp.
Details of the WCI GHG Cap-and-Trade program can be found at the following Web address: www.westernclimateinitiative.org. A French version of the program will be available at the same site within a few days.
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