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05/10/2012 12:59 PM     print story email story  

Quebec to Join California's Cap-and-Trade Program News

California regulators proposed rules this week that will allow cross-border carbon trading so that Quebec can participate in the cap-and-trade program.

It broadens the market for companies that trade emissions permits to both California and Quebec. British Columbia is expected to join in a few months.

The California Air Resources Board will vote on the rules June 28, and if approved, the first linked auction of allowances for Quebec and California companies would take place in November.

California has been trying to create a regional system through the Western Climate Initiative, but most of those states have dropped out since the GOP took over in 2010.

Mary Nichols, Chair of the California Air Resources Board, plans to visit Australia to explore a linkage with its cap-and-trade program, which begins in 2015. "Linking provides more options to California businesses and lays the groundwork for other partners to join with us," she says.

South Korea and Mexico recently passed laws to create carbon trading and have expressed interest in linking to regional programs.

The broader a cap-and-trade program is, the more effective it is. One of the main sticking points for these programs is industry's objection that it puts them at a disadvantage if competitors in other countries don't have to follow the same rules.

In the next five years, "we will have a much larger fabric of states and provinces working together," says Nichols.

"The cap and trade system is acknowledged as one of the most efficient and least costly economic tools available to reduce GHG emissions," says Quebec's minister for sustainable development, Pierre Arcand.

California's program officially begins in 2013. It sets industry-wide limits on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the first time in the US.

Companies that exceed industry emissions limits can buy carbon allowances from cleaner companies that can meet those limits, and they can also buy carbon offsets. Emission limits become more stringent each year through 2020.

The program covers 85% of California's GHG emissions and is a key component of AB32, California's 2006 landmark climate change legislation, which attempts to fill the yawning gap left by the lack of federal policy. Under the law, California must reduce GHG emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.

Reader Comments (2)

Charlie Peters

Date Posted:
05/10/12 09:49 PM

Bill Clinton, Al Gore & Senator Obama supported the California 2006 Prop. 87, a GMO corn ethanol welfare program. Bill, Al, have changed opinion on the ethanol mandate, I wonder if Obama will make this the time for CHANGE? I support a waiver of the ethanol mandate, voluntary use of ethanol in my gas. Federal ethanol policy increases Government motors oil use and Big oil profit. It is reported that today California is using Brazil sugar cane ethanol at $0.16 per gal increase over using GMO corn fuel ethanol. In this game the cars and trucks get to pay and Big oil profits are the result that may be ready for change. We do NOT support AB 523 or SB 1396 unless the ethanol mandate is changed to voluntary ethanol in our gas. Folks that pay more at the pump for less from Cars, trucks, food, water & air need better, it is time. The car tax of AB 118 Nunez is just a simple Big oil welfare program, AAA questioned the policy and some folks still agree. AB 523 & SB 1326 are just a short put (waiver) from better results. GOOGLE: Prop 87 (510) 537-1796

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Charlie Peters

Date Posted:
05/31/12 06:36 PM

Mary Nichols, CARB Chair, on AB32 global warming performance.

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