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Western Climate Initiative


Design Recommendations for the WCI Regional Cap-and-Trade Program
(PDF, 4,9 MB)

Design for the WCI Regional Program (PDF, 1,9 MB)

Offset System Essential Elements Final Recommendations Paper (PDF, 274 KB)

Québec became a member of the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) in April 2008. The WCI is a group of American states and Canadian provinces that have decided to adopt a common approach toward addressing climate change, in particular by developing and implementing a North American system for capping and trading GHG emission allowances.

In order to create a common carbon market, some WCI partners adopted a regulation establishing a GHG emissions cap-and-trade system on their territory. Once the cap-and-trade systems of these partners are linked through intergovernmental recognition agreements, a regional North American carbon market will come into existence.

  • Québec joins the Western Climate Initiative – Press Release (2008-04-18)

From 2007 to 2010, the WCI partners devoted most of their efforts toward developing a GHG emissions cap-and-trade program. The program’s operating guidelines were unveiled in September 2008.

Subsequently, the Design for the WCI Regional Program (PDF, 1,9 MB), detailing how the WCI’s cap-and-trade system would work, was made public in July 2010, as was the Offset System Essential Elements Final Recommendations Paper (PDF, 274 KB), which set out the final recommendations on how to define offset credits and the qualifying criteria for their issuance. - Press Release (French - 2010-07-27)

On June 18, 2009 the Government of Québec unanimously adopted the Act to amend the Environment Quality Act and other legislative provisions in relation to climate change, giving the Government the authority needed to implement on its territory, by regulatory means, a cap-and-trade system for GHG emission allowances. - Press Release (French - 2009-06-19)

On December 14, 2011 the Government of Québec adopted the Regulation respecting the cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emission allowances. Québec was the first Canadian partner to adopt its regulation on January 1, 2012 following in the footsteps of California, which adopted its regulation on October 20, 2011. - Press Release (2011-12-15)

On December 12, 2012, the Government of Québec enacted the Regulation to amend the Regulation respecting a cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emission allowances that seeks to harmonize and link Québec’s systems with California’s and eventually, with potential partners such as Ontario and British Columbia. The Regulation also provides the operational rules for the “offset credits” component in Québec, which is aimed at acknowledging GHG emission reductions from projects completed by businesses in industries that are not targeted by the cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emission allowances itself. – Press Release (French - 2012-12-13)

On October 1, 2013, the Québec Minister of International Relations, La Francophonie and External Trade, Jean-François Lisée, the Québec Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment, Wildlife and Parks, Yves-François Blanchet, and the Chair of the California Air Resources Board, Mary Nichols, announced the signing of an agreement specifying the steps and procedures for fully harmonizing and integrating their respective cap-and-trade systems for greenhouse gas emission allowances. The agreement provided that the linkage of the two systems would officially take effect on January 1, 2014. – Press release (2013-10-01)

On November 5, 2013, the members of the National Assembly of Québec unanimously approved the agreement between the Government of Québec and the California Air Resources Board on the harmonization and integration of the cap-and-trade programs for greenhouse gas emission allowances. – Press release (2013-11-05)

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