Carbon Cap and Trade – Who did what when and Who owes what? by Elizabeth Marshall

Elizabeth Marshall
Elizabeth Marshall

Question: Not forgetting what the Auditor General said (quoted below)…is there actually a lawful agreement which can be upheld, considering “one country to claim another’s emissions reductions, but only if both federal governments (e.g., Canada and the United States) have formally agreed to such an exchange? At present, no such agreement exists.” So technically, Ontario couldn’t actually claim or use California credits, could it???

And what was Ontario actually paying for??? Does this Western Climate Initiative (see below) agreement actually hold any water, considering we were paying for something we couldn’t actually use???

If some entity is to be sued, shouldn’t it be California for selling something that Canadians might not be able to actually use and/or California and Quebec may have voided the agreement all together when they froze the sale of Ontario carbon credit/emission allowances??? And what are Quebec, Manitoba, and British Columbia, basing their carbon tax plans on…???  Just something to think about if you’re in Quebec, Manitoba, and British Columbia, do you think??? – what are you actually paying for???

Chapter 3 Section 3.02 – page 149

“Our audit indicates that the cap-and-trade system will result in only a small portion of the required greenhouse-gas reductions needed to meet Ontario’s 2020 target. Among our findings:

It is likely that less than 20% of reductions required to meet the province’s 2020 target will be achieved in Ontario: Of the 18.7 megatonnes (Mt) of greenhouse-gas emissions that will have to be cut to achieve the 2020 target, only 3.8 Mt (20%) are expected to be in Ontario. The remaining 80%—about 14.9 Mt—is actually forecast to be reduced in California and/or Quebec, yet Ontario plans to take credit for both its own 20% (3.8 Mt) reduction and this 80% (14.9 Mt) reduction occurring outside of Ontario. We note that the 2015 Paris Agreement allows one country to claim another’s emissions reductions, but only if both federal governments (e.g., Canada and the United States) have formally agreed to such an exchange. At present, no such agreement exists. Further, the final determination of whether Ontario has met a given target is based on the National Inventory Report prepared by the federal government, which also does not count reductions occurring outside Ontario.”

In the 2016 North American Climate Policy Forum – Preconference Paper, by Emily Pechar (Duke University) and Mercedes Marcano (Sustainable Prosperity), Overview of the North American Climate Policy Landscape at the National and Subnational Levels, page 6.

“The Western Climate Initiative:
In February 2007, five western U.S. states (Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington) formed the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) – a voluntary partnership among sub-federal member jurisdictions intent on establishing regional emission reduction targets and a related emissions trading system. Soon after, additional U.S. states and Canadian provinces joined the initiative including Utah and Montana in the United States, and British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec in Canada.

This voluntary partnership developed a common set of guidelines and facilitated mutual cooperation to collectively reduce 15% of emissions by 2020. Contrary to the European Union’s Emissions Trading System, the WCI is a non-binding voluntary agreement, which is not mandated by a higher authority and where each participating jurisdiction maintains autonomy to establish its own emission targets.

In 2011, all U.S. states, except California, withdrew from this partnership. None of the Canadian provinces that joined the initiative have formally withdrawn.
Source: Purdon M., Houle D and Lachapelle E. (2014)”

Are Canadian provincial governments so desperate for that global pat on the head that they are the only entities involved with the California WCI? SERIOUSLY!!!

The announcement, by the PCs, that set off California and Quebec’s little snit …

“Doug Ford vows to scrap Ontario’s cap-and-trade program as his 1st act as premier.
PCs to give notice of Ontario’s withdrawal from joint carbon pricing market with Quebec, California”…Amara McLaughlin · CBC News · Posted: Jun 15, 2018 10:54 AM ET | Last Updated: June 15”

And on June 17, the California and Quebec little snit was reported…

California, Quebec close carbon market to Ontario

“California and Quebec have closed the joint carbon market to Ontario, preventing companies from dumping some $2.8-billion in emissions allowances after premier-designate Doug Ford announced an end to the provincial cap-and-trade system….

Quebec and California governments had to act quickly to ensure companies holding allowances that had been needed to comply with Ontario’s cap-and-trade regulations do not dump them onto the market, causing a glut that would depress prices in future auctions.

… They also established a secondary market where regulated companies and speculators can buy and sell allowances.…

In a notice to market participants issued late Friday, California and Quebec governments said the Western Climate Initiative would no longer allow trades between companies registered in their jurisdictions and those registered in Ontario.

“Our goals are to make certain that the program continues to reduce emissions of climate-changing gases as a crucial part of our efforts to combat the existential threat of climate change, while also continuing the smooth operation and integrity of our common carbon market,” the notice said.”

And then there is the agreement between Ontario, California and Quebec…they say they stopped the selling of the carbon credits because it would “depress prices in future auctions”…isn’t that market manipulation?…SERIOUSLY
…and yet Article 11 of the agreement, in conjunction with the statement in the article that says there were allowances for speculators and regulated companies to buy and sell allowances, didn’t it? Based on this report isn’t Quebec with California manipulating the market and/or violating article 11 of the agreement???

The Parties shall work cooperatively to maintain market integrity, including preventing fraud, abuse and market manipulation and to ensure the reliability of the joint auction and their respective programs.”

Gee I hope the PCs stick to what they are doing, but I don’t think Ontarians need to be honoring anything because there seems to be nothing to honour now does there? Just asking…and final question …If some entity is to be sued, shouldn’t it be California for selling something that Canadians might not be able to actually use???

See Elizabeth Marshall’s accompanying Facebook presentation on this topic at

Elizabeth F. Marshall,

Trillium Party of Ontario, Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound

Director of Research Ontario Landowners Association

Author – “Property Rights 101:  An Introduction”

Secretary – Canadian Justice Review Board

Legal Research – Green and Associates Law Offices, etc.,

Legislative Researcher – MPs, MPPs, Municipal Councillors,

President All Rights Research Ltd.,

Steering Committee – International Property Rights Association

I am not a lawyer and do not give legal advice.  Any information relayed is for informational purposes only.  Please contact a lawyer.