Québec Premier Philippe Couillard, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne and California Governor Edmund G. Brown on Friday, September 22, 2017 further strengthened their cooperation in the global fight against climate change.
Premier Couillard hosted Premier Wynne and Governor Brown in Québec City to sign an agreement linking the carbon markets of Québec, Ontario and California.
By signing ths agreement to integrate and harmonise emissions cap programmes, Ontario will now formally enter the Québec-California carbon market, effective January 1, 2018. This will allow all three governments to hold joint auctions of GHG emission allowances and to harmonise regulations and reporting.
Friday’s agreement will accelerate progress on the three governments’ leading work in the global fight against climate change, and demonstrates their shared commitment to achieving the objectives of the Paris Agreement as well as the value of governments working together across borders. Québec, Ontario and California will continue their efforts to promote the role of provincial and state governments on this issue, advocating for the adoption of carbon markets worldwide, including through various international partnerships.
Couillard said: “Premier Jean Charest chose to set up a carbon market in Quebec. Today, our government is taking this initiative to another level by promoting and recruiting new partners. The expertise we have developed enables Quebec to be associated with leaders in the field, to benefit from best practices, and to contribute to the development of more efficient carbon reduction technologies.”
Wynne was quoted as saying: “Climate change is a global problem that requires global solutions. Now more than ever, we need to work together with our partners at home and around the world to show how our collaboration can lead to results in this international fight. Today’s carbon market linking agreement will add to the success we have already seen in reducing GHG emissions in Ontario, Québec and California. We are stronger together and by linking our three carbon markets we will achieve even greater reductions at the lowest cost. I look forward to continuing to work with Premier Couillard and Governor Brown on our common goals, including advancing carbon markets and emissions cap programmes across North America and around the world.”
Brown submitted: “Climate change, if left unchecked, will profoundly disrupt the economies of the world and cause untold human suffering. That’s the reason why California and Québec are joining with Ontario to create an expanded and dynamic carbon market, which will drive down greenhouse gas emissions.”
It is believed that Ontario’s entry into the Western Climate Initiative carbon market with Québec and California will strengthen North America’s largest carbon market, and the only one developed and managed by federated entities from two different countries.
Together, Ontario, Québec and California’s collective market is said to be larger than any existing carbon market, except for the EU.
The WCI covers a population of more than 60 million people and about CAD$4 trillion in GDP. By linking, the three governments will harmonise regulations and reporting, while also planning and hold joint auctions of GHG emission allowances.
Emissions cap programmes combine economic development and environmental protection, reducing GHG emissions while rewarding innovative companies and creating opportunities for investment and job creation.
Programmes to put a price on carbon are expanding internationally, with several countries including China, Japan and Mexico indicating intention to launch carbon markets.