Line Beauchamp, Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Parks, tabled a bill on climate change in the National Assembly on May 12. Once approved, the bill will give the Government of Québec the necessary legislative powers to participate in North America’s most important greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions cap-and-trade program, in partnership with the other Canadian provinces and the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) member states.
The adoption of Bill 42 (An Act amending the Environment Quality Act and other legislative provisions concerning climate change) is crucial because it will enable Québec to set reduction targets and emission caps, in addition to requiring reporting of all GHG emissions from sources covered by the WCI cap-and-trade program and creating a regional auction platform for some or all emission rights.
“Amending the current legislation is essential to fulfilling our commitment as a WCI member. The cap-and-trade program will be a key instrument in Québec’s climate change strategy. We intend to remain at the forefront of these efforts, together with other jurisdictions that have embraced the transition to a modern green economy,” said Ms. Beauchamp.
The initial phase of the WCI program will be launched in January 2010, when major GHG emitters will be required to report their emissions on an annual basis. In 2012, an emissions cap will be implemented for major industry sectors and electricity producers, preparing the way for the first GHG reductions and emissions trades.
“Under this program, which may eventually be linked with other systems currently being developed in the US and in other parts of the world, Québec’s industrial stakeholders will have an opportunity to access a vast carbon market, enabling us to balance economic growth with efforts to combat climate change. Establishing the WCI’s market-based system will also facilitate the development of a viable carbon market, with the Montreal Climate Exchange as its centrepiece,” said the Minister.
Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs (MDDEP)