On January 1st, 2013, the Quebec government established its cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gas emission allowances. The companies affected by this system, which emit 25,000 tonnes or more of greenhouse gases per year, must either reduce their emissions below a certain threshold or acquire greenhouse gas emission allowances, offset credits or early reduction credits. These instruments are referred to as carbon credits.
As of January 1st 2015, fossil fuel distributors are being regulated under the cap-and-trade system. Thus, distributors have to buy carbon credits to cover greenhouse gas emissions attributable to the fuel distributed, if those emissions are equal to or exceed 25,000 tonnes per year.
The large final emitters and the fuel distributors may acquire carbon credits in various ways:
- when the Quebec Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and the Fight against Climate Change (the "Minister") allocates allowances;
- or by acquiring allowances (“carbon credits”) sold at auction by the Minister or his California counterpart;
- or by acquiring carbon credits under a sale by mutual agreement organized by the Minister;
- or by obtaining Quebec early reduction credits;
- or by obtaining verified California early action offset credits;
- or by obtaining carbon credits on the free market;
- or by obtaining verified offset credits on the free market, which are derived from a project using one of the three approved protocols as stated in the Quebec cap-and-trade system;
- or by obtaining verified offset credits on the free market, which are derived from a project using one of the 4 approved protocols as stated in the California cap-and-trade system.
The CPEQ is pleased to provide a platform that will enable large final emitters, fuel distributors and other participants who have an account at the Compliance Instrument Tracking System (CITSS), to buy and sell carbon credits. When posting a request to buy or sell a carbon credit, the information must specify the year of the emission units or credits to be bought or sold, the quantity, the category and the price. For verified offset credits, it must be stated whether the project originated in Quebec or California and from which protocol they derive from.
Since California and Quebec's markets are linked since January 1st 2014, the platform established by CPEQ allows large final emitters, fuel distributors and participants from both Quebec and California to use this platform to facilitate trading carbon credits.
For the time being, access to the platform is free of charge for all, but CPEQ will charge a fee, at a time it sees fit, to view or access this platform.
Please note that this platform is part of an ongoing process which explains that some changes may be made in the future to meet your expectations. Therefore, don’t hesitate to give us your comments by calling us at 514-393-1122 or by writing to email@example.com.