Western Climate Initiative to link California, Quebec carbon markets

(As we’re based here in Vermont, Quebec’s backyard, we’ll be closely following the development of this market, and working with our allies in Quebec to stand against false solutions and shell games such as carbon trading, and push for the real solutions which actually keep the oil in the soil, the coal in the hole, and the tar sands in the land.–GEAR Media Team)

Cross-posted from Green Assets

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.




Leading Carbon Market Authorities Admit Failings


Durban, South Africa, December 7, 2011 – As the UN climate negotiations in Durban, South Africa draw to a close carbon emission credit prices have fallen to record lows and carbon market forecasts predict further carnage. “Carbon Markets, Trading with our Future” – a new film released today in Durban offers a rare glimpse into the collapsing markets from the vantage of some of the leading architects and designers of climate finance.
In the film Tim Yeo, Chair of the UK’s Energy and Climate Change Select Committee acknowledges that the carbon markets have never capped carbon emissions: “In the first four years of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme the cap didn’t really reduce emissions at all. Even phase two the cap hasn’t had much impact.”
Patrick Bond, Director for the Centre for Civil Society at University of KwaZulu Natal and an advisor to the film, adds, “The price of carbon is already at an all time low. The International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) now opposes the European Energy Efficiency Directive because they claim it will have a negative effect on the price of carbon.”
Other market mechanisms such as Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) are leading to serious human rights violations and land grabs.  In response to killings in Honduras linked to a CDM project there, Martin Hession, Chairman of the CDM Executive Board and former Head of Global Carbon Markets at UK’s Defra says: I don’t think the CDM can take on the job of being a human rights commission [or] resolving every social problem in every country.”
According to Prof. Michael Dorsey of Dartmouth College, a film advisor, “The failure to look at climate change in the wider context of climate and social justice causes gross human rights violations and environmental degradation. Economists and financiers are narrowly concerned with balancing their books.”
Andrew Butler from Occupy COP17 adds, “Money is needed to help developing countries adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change. The volatility and single-minded nature of the markets is clearly not the way to do it. Rich nations must make reparations and pay their historical climate debt.”
A rush, director’s cut of the film for viewing, download and use, in part or full is at: http://vimeo.com/cop17/carbonmarkets.
For further comment and interviews please contact:
Prof. Patrick Bond, Director, Centre for Civil Society, UKZN: +27-83 425 1401
Prof. Michael Dorsey, Dartmouth College: +27-79 863 8756 (SA), +1734-945-6424 (US)

Andrew Butler, Occupy Cop17: +27-79 032 2347 (Also for broadcast quality footage).

Audio File: World Bank’s Partnership for Market Readiness presentation at COP17

(Photo: World Bank)  Presentation opens with European Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard calling for a “seamless international carbon market, with a single carbon price” and remarking that “The good news is the carbon market family is definitely growing.”

For information on presenters, click the “Info” link on the audio player.