Washington, D.C., October 1, 2013 - The Québec Minister of International Relations, Francophonie and External Trade, Mr. Jean-François Lisée, the Québec Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment, Wildlife and Parks, Mr. Yves-François Blanchet, and the Chairman of the California Air Resources Board, Ms. Mary Nichols, are pleased to announce the signing of an agreement outlining the steps and procedures to fully harmonize and integrate the cap-and-trade programs of Quebec and California. The linkage of the two programs is planned to be effective on January 1st, 2014.
As the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) confirms beyond all reasonable doubt, in its just released fifth Assessment Report, the role of humans in global warming, Quebec and California are part of a leading group of Canadian provinces and U.S. states resolutely heading towards the building a green economy.
"The collaboration between Quebec and California in the development of a carbon market on a continental scale is an excellent example of North American regional cooperation that is beneficial to all partners, both from an economic and an environmental perspective. As leaders in the fight against climate change, Quebec and California advantageously position their businesses involved in the research and development of new clean technologies on the world stage. We seek nothing less than to become an international reference on this issue ", said Minister Jean-François Lisée.
A key measure
The carbon market is a key measure of the Quebec government in the fight against climate change. "The sale of emission allowances will generate at least $ 2.5 billion in revenue by 2020 in Quebec. These funds will be fully reinvested in initiatives to fight climate change, including facilitating the conversion to renewable energy, promoting energy efficiency, improving industrial processes and preparing Quebec society to adapt to the impacts of climate change. The electrification of transportation is another major project on which our government will labour over the coming months", said Minister Yves-François Blanchet.
Western Climate Initiative
Since 2008, Quebec and California have contributed to the design and drafting of various documents issued by the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) and both their cap and trade programs have been designed along its guidelines. They are also founding members of the WCI Inc., a not-for-profit organization established in October 2011 to provide administrative and technical services to the partners of the WCI to support the joint implementation of their respective cap and trade programs.
“For more than five years, California and Quebec, along with other states of the United States and provinces of Canada, have worked together to address the risks of man-made climate change,” said Chairman Nichols. “We have created and are now implementing the most advanced and comprehensive programs to reduce the pollution that threatens our global environment.”
“Through this agreement, we continue our positive working relationship and the process of integrating our programs,” said Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency Matthew Rodriquez. “In doing so, we enhance the benefits to each of our peoples, and our history of effective cooperation to achieve a shared goal will provide a model for others to emulate, not only in North America, but throughout the world.”
By way of this agreement, Québec and California are indeed calling on Canadian provinces and American states that are trying to find an effective market solution to reduce their GHG emissions and start the transition towards a low-carbon economy to join the new Quebec/California common carbon market. Both states agree that strength in numbers will be crucial, and the discussion must continue with other continental partners in order to establish a carbon price signal among all North American economic actors.
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