Ministère de l'Environnement
et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques

Press Release


Québec, June 11, 2012 – Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks Pierre Arcand announced that the Government of Québec has just completed the first stage of linking the Québec and California carbon markets. The regulation to amend the Regulation respecting a cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emission allowances was published in the Gazette officielle du Québec, and will be available for public consultation for a period of 60 days. This draft regulation is aimed at creating a regional North American carbon market by harmonizing Québec’s system with that of California and other eventual partners, such as Ontario and British Columbia.

“California and Québec will become the first two Western Climate Initiative (WCI) member partners to link their systems. As of 2013, some 34 cap-and-trade systems for greenhouse gas emission allowances will be operational world-wide, in 30 European countries as well as in Australia, New Zealand, California and Québec. Québec has once again taken a leadership position in environmental matters, something that all Quebecers can be proud of,” Minister Arcand declared.

Linking markets provides a golden opportunity for the Montréal Climate Exchange to extend its reach and its service offering to Québec and Canadian businesses that wish to take advantage of the carbon market.

“We are well-placed to become a major platform for transactions among companies that want to buy or sell GHG emission allowances in a market that will significantly grow in the coming years. Opening the door to a North American regional carbon market helps us move forward in the transition to a green, sustainable and prosperous economy,” the minister added.

In addition to authorizing linkage to occur between systems, the draft amendment to the Regulation sets out the way that the offset credits component will work in Québec. A number of industries that are not currently targeted by the cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emission allowances will be able to have reductions stemming from voluntary projects recognized. This is particularly the case for residual materials, agriculture and the destruction of ozone layer depleting substances.

2012 is seen as a transitional year, during which regulated entities in California and Québec can familiarize themselves with the system. The first carbon market compliance period will begin on January 1, 2013.

The cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emission allowances is recognized as one of the most efficient and least costly economic tools for reducing GHG emissions. It is also a vital strategic instrument chosen by the nations and governments of the world to fight climate change.  

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Sarah Shirley
Press Officer
Cabinet of the Minister
of Sustainable Development,
Environment and Parks



Media Relations
Ministère du Développement durable,
de l’Environnement et des Parcs



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