A Review of Québec’s Cap-and-Trade System

Published: 10 February 2022

In the summer of 2021, Max Bell School Master of Public Policy candidates Danielle Appavoo, Mariel Aramburu, Ricardo Chejfec, and Anil Wasif responded to a call to the academic community from Québec’s Minister of Finance, M. Eric Girard. The Minister was interested in proposals from universities and research groups, namely on (i) fiscal policy in Québec, (ii) the province’s economic potential and (iii) the fight against climate change.

Under the guidance of Mr. Kevin Page, President of the Institute for Fiscal Studies and Democracy (IFSD) at the University of Ottawa, the research team prepared a policy brief for a joint submission on behalf of the Max Bell School and IFSD. Page expressed his gratitude to the Québec Minister of Finance, M. Eric Girard for giving the group the opportunity to support research on policy to address climate change, adding "It was a privilege to work with the next generation of leaders from the Max Bell School at McGill University. Danielle Appavoo, Mariel Aramburu, Ricardo Chejfec, and Anil Wasif will be guiding stars on complex policy issues." 

The resulting report Meeting the Target - A Review of Québec’s Cap-and-Trade System and Opportunities to Improve the Carbon Market has now been published by the Québec Government in English and French on the Ministry of Finance’s website.

The research group reviewed Quebec’s carbon market within the parameters of emissions reduction, cost-effectiveness, and transparency and accountability. The review was informed by Québec’s 2030 Plan for a Green Economy, along with the province’s commitment to reduce emissions by 37.5 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and develop a carbon-neutral economy by 2050.

The report presents four main opportunities for Quebec’s cap-and-trade system: building public trust, strengthening market stability mechanisms, rethinking revenue recycling preferences, and funding further research.

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