On April 11, 2018 the Energy Action Network and Climate Economy Action Team co-hosted an information session at VEIC about the Western Climate Initiative. The goal was to help inform Vermont policy discussions by providing a first-hand overview of what Quebec is achieving through the Western Climate Initiative – a market-based cap and invest approach to reducing climate pollution while also stimulating economic growth.
Governor Scott has committed Vermont to upholding the Paris Agreement goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 26-28% below 2005 levels by 2025. However, as of 2013, VT emissions have only decreased 11% from 2005 levels. There is also a more ambitious goal, contained in Vermont Statute, of reducing Vermont emissions 50% below 1990 levels by 2028. However, as of 2013, Vermont’s emissions have actually increased 4% since 1990. What can we learn from our neighbors to the north about options for making greater progress towards these goals while growing our economy?
WCI Presentation – Marie-Claude Francoeur, Quebec Delegate to New England
Marie-Claude’s presentation provided an overview of the Western Climate Initiative and the history of carbon pricing in Québec. Having first established a levy on carbon in 2006, Québec then transitioned to a carbon market which is now joined to those of California and Ontario via the Western Climate Initiative. She discussed the collaboration necessary among elected officials, citizen advocates, and the private sector to arrive at the policies in place today. She then discussed the Green Fund and the investments made possible by the carbon market, as well as an overview of Québec’s current economic situation.<a href=”https://eanvt.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Quebecs-Comeback-articles.compressed-1.pdf”>Background: Quebec’s Comeback</a>
WCI Presentation – Jean-Yves Benoit, Director, Carbon Market Division at the Québec Ministry of Environment and Board Member of the Western Climate Initiative (WCI, Inc.)
Jean-Yves presentation focused on the mechanics of Québec’s carbon market, including its contribution to climate, energy, and economic goals. In summary, from 1990 to 2015, Québec’s GHG emissions were reduced by 8.8%. During this same period, the population grew by 18.0% and the GDP grew by 60.0%. Jean-Yves also presented the policy adjustments that were required to link the Québec market to the California market. <a href=”https://eanvt.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Vermont-QC-CT-2018-04-11-1.pdf”>Background: Quebec-California-Ontartio C&T Programs: The WCI Regional Carbon Market – Presentation to the State House of Vermont, April 11, 2018.</a>