Québec, May 19, 2016 – The Minister of Sustainable Development, the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change, David Heurtel, congratulates the Government of Ontario and his counterpart, the Hon. Glen Murray, Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, for adopting their draft bill amending the Climate Change Mitigation and Low Carbon Economy Act, and for the publication of its cap-and-trade regulation. Adoption of this regulation is a key step allowing Ontario to put cap-and-trade into effect by January 1, 2017.
“Ontario is demonstrating leadership in the fight against climate change and positioning its economy for the 21st century, an economy with innovation and decarbonization at its core. Ontario has made a judicious choice in acting promptly to price carbon through a flexible and high-performance tool that produces results in both the environmental and economic spheres. I gladly extend my own support and the support of the Ministère to our Ontario colleagues and express our full cooperation so that we, along with our California partners, can finalize a linking agreement that could become effective on January 1, 2018,” stated Minister Heurtel.
It is important to recall that Québec linked its own cap-and-trade system with California’s on January 1, 2014, thereby creating the biggest carbon market in North America and the first to have been designed and operated by sub-national governments in different countries. In April 2015, Ontario announced its intention to join this market. The population of Québec and Ontario totals more than 20 million Canadians and accounts for more than 50% of the country’s economy. Ontario’s draft regulation defines the scope of its cap-and-trade system, the emitters to be covered by it, the terms and conditions for carbon market registration, the auction process, and the allocation of free emission units, as well as compliance obligations and applicable penalties in case of default. Québec’s carbon market has the wind in its sails and is considered to be one of the most efficient in the world. On the occasion of the recent launch of works prepared by the Carbon Pricing Leadership Coalition, the Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Angel Gurría, noted that the Québec-California carbon market was an example worth following.
All income from Québec’s carbon market auctions is paid to the Green Fund to support the measures set out in the 2013-2020 Climate Change Action Plan. These measures target energy efficiency, renewable energy and clean technologies, transportation electrification, mass transit and adapting to the consequences of climate change. As vectors to relaunch the economy and to create jobs, they concretely improve the quality of life for Quebecers.
“As is the case in Québec, Ontario is accelerating its transition to a low carbon world, with the conviction that strong climate policies, especially carbon pricing, will enable it to protect the health and safety of its citizens, preserve its ecosystems, grow the economy and create jobs and ensure a quality of life for ourselves and our children. The environmental and economic legacy we will leave to future generations depends on the efforts we make today. Together, let’s do it for them!” concluded Minister Heurtel.
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