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Press release

The carbon market is a recognized tool that now covers more than 50% of global GDP

Québec City, June 15, 2018 – Following the announcement this morning that the new Ontario government apparently intends to withdraw from the GHG emission cap-and-trade system, Quebec Minister of Sustainable Development, the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change Isabelle Melançon has indicated that Quebec has made note of the decision and that the carbon market that Quebec established in 2013, which has been linked to California’s carbon market since 2014, would pursue its activities. It should be noted that even prior to Ontario’s becoming a partner, the market was recognized as one of the most efficient, rigorous markets in the world.

In this context, California and Quebec will continue to collaborate with the Ontario government to minimize any possible disturbance in the linked market. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) and Quebec will work together with Ontario to coordinate the timetable, the treatment of existing compliance tools and other repercussions of possible withdrawal from the market. Emphasis will be placed on the maintenance of the linked carbon market’s rigour and the integrity of the compliance tools.

Carbon pricing is an international trend

Some 21 GHG emission cap-and-trade systems are now in operation the world over. States that maintain such a mechanism account for more than 50% of global GDP and encompass nearly one-third of the world’s population.

By sharing its expertise, Quebec is contributing to the implementation of various carbon pricing systems, in particular with China and Mexico. Moreover, during his latest economic mission in France, Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard and his French counterpart Prime Minister Édouard Philippe agreed on a roadmap respecting the fight against climate change, energy and sustainable development. The roadmap indicates that Quebec and France will organize a high-level round-table conference on drawing closer together the European Union Emissions Trading System and the carbon market established between Quebec and California.

“We note the new Ontario government’s decision. We deem the carbon market to be the best way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and generate economic growth. Furthermore, extensive collaboration is now developing with other governments interested in the market’s mechanisms and bodes well for other partnerships in the future. 

 As Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard has frequently emphasized, the economy and the environment go hand in hand. Governments do not have to choose between the economy, on the one hand, and environmental protection and combating climate change, on the other. We must focus on both simultaneously. This is what enables us to realize the carbon market. I am fully confident in its long-term survival.”

Isabelle Melançon, Minister of Sustainable Development, the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change


  • Quebec has made the carbon market the spearhead of its strategy to fight climate change. It is a lever that induces a transition to a modern, prosperous, low-carbon economy because:

    • by establishing clear objectives for emitters, based on degressive caps, it guarantees greenhouse gas emission reductions. Between 2012 and 2016, reporting emitters reduced their emissions by 6.8%, a sign that the carbon market is working;

    • it encourages innovation: businesses and society as a whole are encouraged to display creativity and find innovative solutions to reduce GHG emissions and better consume energy;

    • it also generates revenue, which, in Quebec, is accelerating GHG emission reduction and increasing Quebec society’s resilience to climate change impacts. Indeed, 100% of the revenue from the GHG emission cap-and-trade system is reinvested in efforts to combat climate change in Quebec.

  • It is worth noting that the federal government’s objective is to reduce by 30% by 2030 Canadian emissions in relation to the 2005 level. To this end, it has advised all of the provinces that they should adopt by 2018 a carbon pricing strategy, whether a GHG emission cap-and-trade system or a carbon tax.

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Julien Marcotte
Press Officer
Office of the Minister of Sustainable Development, the Environment and the Fight Against Climate Change
Telephone: 418-521-3911


Media relations
Ministère du Développement durable,
de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre
les changements climatiques
Telephone: 418-521-3991


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