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Ontario, Quebec and California Hold Joint Climate Meeting in Marrakech

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Ontario, Quebec and California Hold Joint Climate Meeting in Marrakech

Leaders Discuss Environmental and Economic Benefits of North American Linked Carbon Market

The governments of Ontario, Quebec and California held a tri-lateral meeting today to further efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while boosting economic growth by linking cap and trade programs and expanding carbon markets.

Minister of the Environment and Climate Change Glen Murray was joined by Quebec Premier Philip Couillard and Matt Rodriquez, Secretary for Environmental Protection for California for a discussion today at the 22nd Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Marrakech, Morocco.

Talks focused on how to support businesses and fuel economic growth within a linked market system. Linking with other cap and trade programs helps companies comply at the lowest possible cost, as well as helping jurisdictions meet their targets for reduced greenhouse gas emissions. Linked markets bring many economic benefits, 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
  • Simplified administration, making it easier for industries operating in multiple jurisdictions to comply.

Ontario and other subnational governments are leaders in the fight against climate change. The province will continue to work with Quebec and California with the intent to link its cap and trade program in 2018.

Working collaboratively to fight climate change is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

Quick Facts

  • On May 18, 2016, Ontario passed landmark climate change legislation that ensures the province is accountable for responsibly and transparently investing proceeds from the cap and trade program into actions that reduce greenhouse gas pollution create jobs and help people and businesses shift to a low-carbon economy.
  • Ontario’s Climate Change Action Plan is investing up to $8.3 billion over the next five years in projects that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, create jobs and help people and businesses transition to a low-carbon economy. Most of these actions will be funded by proceeds from Ontario’s cap and trade program.
  • After introducing its cap and trade program and putting a price on carbon, California’s economy grew at a pace that exceeded the growth of the rest of the U.S. economy.
  • The number of jobs in California grew by almost 3.3 per cent in the first year and a half of the program, outstripping the national rate of job creation, which was 2.5 per cent over the same period.
  • In the United States, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI – which issues Carbon Dioxide allowances distributed through regional auctions) has invested more than $1.3 billion of auction proceeds in programs that include energy efficiency, clean and renewable energy, greenhouse gas abatement and direct bill assistance.
  • RGGI investments are projected to return more than $4.67 billion in lifetime energy bill savings to more than 4.6 million participating households and 21,400 businesses.

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“This was an excellent opportunity to advance the conversation on linked and expanding carbon markets in North America and across the globe. Quebec and California are important sub-national partners in fighting climate change and continue to raise the bar on climate action.”

Glen Murray

Minister of the Environment and Climate Change

“The carbon market is a flexible high-performing tool, both environmentally and economically. It must be based on concerted and coherent action with a maximum number of partners. It is in this way that we will accelerate the transition to a modern, prosperous and low-carbon economy. With the existing Québec-California carbon market, soon to be linked with Ontario, we can fight climate change together to ensure a better quality of life for our children. Let’s do it for them!”

David Heurtel

Quebec Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change

“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. We look forward to continuing our collaboration with Quebec and Ontario.”

Matt Rodriquez

Secretary for Environmental Protection for California

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