California-Canadian carbon market to start small

Tue Apr 12, 2011 9:23pm EDT
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By Peter Henderson

OAKLAND, California (Reuters) - A regional carbon market between California and some Canadian provinces will start off next year smaller than expected due to a delay by industrial powerhouse Ontario and a possible slowdown in a second province, British Columbia.

The Western Climate Initiative of states and provinces are seen as the best hope for North America by environmentalists and green businesses who believe that putting a price on emitting greenhouse gases will clean the environment and spur new industry.

Opponents see it as heaping costs on business.

Size is important, because a larger market is seen as more cost effective for participants.

The Western Climate Initiative in a statement said rule-making was on track so that trade could start next year.

The province of Quebec and California -- assuming the most populous U.S. state can overcome a last-minute legal threat to its plans -- aim to start on January 1.

BC said it is continuing to prepare but that a new administration must approve the plan created by the previous leader from the same political party.

The agricultural Canadian province of Manitoba has now committed to join at some future date, and Ontario said it was still determined to the plan.   Continued...