Jan. 17, 2012 WCI to link California, Quebec carbon markets

In a move that will create the second largest carbon market in the world, Quebec is linking its cap-and-trade market with California’s in time for the carbon allowance auction scheduled for August.

California and Quebec are founding members of the Western Climate Initiative (WCI), a regional market between US states and Canadian provinces. Other WCI member territories Ontario and British Columbia are hopeful they will be prepared to engage in the market next year.

Although California’s allowance budget of 165 million allowance permits dwarfs Quebec’s 23.7 million permits, the partnership signals the potential growth that WCI can expect in the near future.

Quebec administrators are basing their program off of California’s design in an effort to ensure carbon allowances will be interchangeable between member states.