Ontario and Quebec partner with California for carbon plan

Published: November 16, 2016

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones

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Ontario and Quebec are partnering with California to continue efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The three governments held a tri-lateral meeting this week and also discussed strengthening economic growth by collaborating on cap-and-trade programs and seeking to expand carbon markets between the two Canadians provinces and US state.

Ontario’s Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Glen Murray was at the meeting with Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard and California’s Secretary for Environmental Protection, Matt Rodriquez. The meeting was held at the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22) in Marrakech, Morocco.

The leaders focused on supporting businesses to cut emissions while continuing to spur economic growth through a linked carbon market system between Ontario, Quebec, and California. Ontario’s Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change says linking cap-and-trade programs and helping organizations meet standards at the lowest cost possible.

Linked markets bring many economic benefits, the release said, including:

  • Access to a larger pool of low-cost emissions reductions, making it more affordable for companies to lower their emissions;
  • Harmonized carbon prices across all markets, driving down the costs of reductions credits for households and businesses;
  • The ability to leverage common infrastructure, reducing implementation costs; and
  • Simplified administration, making it easier for industries operating in multiple jurisdictions to comply.

Ontario will continue to work with Quebec and California with the intent to link its cap-and-trade program in 2018, the environment ministry reported.

“As the world’s nations strive to confront climate change, our partnership sets an example that the successful linking of markets can reduce overall costs while driving innovation in clean energy and increasing the ambition of our efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions,” Rodriquez said in the statement.