Image source does not exist News Release: 2013-10-01 California and Quebec sign agreement to integrate, harmonize their cap-and-trade programs

Release #:13-61

ARB PIO: (916) 322-2990

Dave Clegern
(916) 322-2990

Quebec Contact
(418) 521-3991

California and Quebec sign agreement to integrate, harmonize their cap-and-trade programs

SACRAMENTO - California and Quebec took another step toward linking their cap and trade programs when representatives of the two jurisdictions signed an agreement outlining steps and procedures to fully harmonize and integrate the two programs.

The agreement, in both French and English, was signed for California by California Air Resources Board Chairman Mary D. Nichols. Signing for Quebec were the Minister of International Relations, La Francophonie and External Trade, Jean-François Lisée and the Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment, Wildlife and Parks, Yves-François Blanchet.

Signing the agreement is the latest step in a process to link the two jurisdictions that began more than five years ago. It will be followed in November by a report to the California Environmental Protection Agency and Governor Brown on the progress toward linking. In December 2012, the Government of Quebec adopted a regulation providing for linkage between the two programs. In April 2013 the Air Resources Board adopted a regulation setting January 1, 2014 as the start of the linkage, which will enable carbon allowances and offset credits to be exchanged between participants in the two jurisdictions’ programs.

“For more than five years, California and Quebec, along with other states of the United States and provinces of Canada, have worked together to address the risks of man-made climate change,” said Nichols. “We have created and are now implementing the most advanced and comprehensive programs to reduce the pollution that threatens our global environment.”

"The collaboration between Quebec and California in the development of a carbon market on a continental scale is an excellent example of North American regional cooperation that is beneficial to all partners, both from an economic and an environmental perspective. As leaders in the fight against climate change, California and Quebec advantageously position their businesses involved in the research and development of new clean technologies on the world stage. We seek nothing less than to become an international reference on this issue," said Minister Lisée.

“Through this agreement, we continue our positive working relationship and the process of integrating our programs,” said Secretary of the California Environmental Protection Agency Matthew Rodriquez. “In doing so, we enhance the benefits to each of our peoples and our history of effective cooperation to achieve a shared goal will provide a model for others to emulate, not only in North America, but throughout the world.”

"The sale of emission allowances will generate at least $2.5 billion in revenue by 2020 in Quebec. These funds will be fully reinvested in initiatives to fight climate change, including facilitating the conversion to renewable energy, promoting energy efficiency, improving industrial processes, and preparing Quebec society to adapt to the impacts of climate change. The electrification of transportation is another major project on which our government will labor over the coming months," said Minister Blanchet.

The linked programs will provide a working model for other states and provinces that are seeking cost-effective approaches to reducing their greenhouse gas emissions. The recent announcement by the U.S. EPA regarding limits on greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, for example, could lead to state-by-state caps and a system that would allow them to trade credits with other similar programs. The California-Quebec arrangement could be the template for that effort.

The “Agreement between the California Air Resources Board and the Government of Quebec Concerning the Harmonization and Integration of Cap-and-Trade Programs for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions” can be found in English and French at:

Quebec Contact Ministère du Développement durable, de l'Environnement et des Parcs (418) 521-3991

ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.