The carbon market

Friday April 5, 2013

The carbon market First year for 2013-2020 Climate Change Action Plan

The carbon market, also known as the “carbon exchange”, is a relatively new, booming system that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through concrete measures. Moreover, in this worthy cause, Quebec doesn’t lag behind.


A significant issue

We already know that greenhouse gases (GHG), most of which are produced by the combustion of fossil fuels (oil, natural gas, coal), are the main cause of climate change. Quebec, which is recognized for its virtually impact-free production of hydroelectricity, has also made it its mission to reduce industrial greenhouse gases to 20% below 1990 levels by 2020. Within the province, the cap-and-trade system is one of the tools the government has chosen to meet this ambitious objective.


   Source : ÉcoRessources - Formation marché du carbone


Simple operation

Since January 1, 2013, companies that release more than 25,000 tonnes of GHG per year must comply with the cap-and-trade system, under which the government allows these major polluters a certain number of free emissions units (or “allocations”) that take into account their historic emissions and their current production level; the number of units allocated decreases by approximately 1 to 2% annually starting in 2015. These companies are, therefore, forced to innovate and invest in clean technologies or, if necessary, purchase additional emission allowances on the carbon market. Companies that release less GHG than expected can then sell their excess units on the same market.


A commitment we are proud of

By becoming the first Canadian province with such a regulation, Quebec is acting as a forerunner along with California, the only American state that has been committed to the carbon market since October 2011. Since Quebec and California are now members of the WCI (World Climate Initiative), emission allowances can be traded between the two.

To learn more about the carbon market, watch the video sponsored by the Ministère du Développement durable, de l'Environnement, de la Faune et des Parcs du Québec.




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