On July 18, 2008, the Western Climate Initiative (WCI) announced its intention to recognize Ontario as its newest member one day after the province formally submitted its membership request. With Ontario, the WCI comprises seven U.S. states and four Canadian provinces that have undertaken to establish a regional cap-and-trade program for reducing GHG emissions. Ontario has been participating in the WCI as an observer since August 2007 and will become the WCI’s fourth Canadian member alongside British Columbia, Quebec and Manitoba. The proposed WCI regime would initially establish an absolute cap on GHG emissions from electricity generation and industrial combustion and process sources, with certain residential, commercial, small industrial and transportation sources being capped at a later date. The proposed cap for regional emissions would be lowered over time, but would initially be designed to achieve regional GHG reductions of 15% below 2005 levels by 2020.
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