On May 12, 2009, Quebec's government tabled a Bill-42 entitled An Act to amend the Environment Quality Act and other legislative provisions in relation to climate change. Under this draft legislation, the government of Quebec will inter alia, designate by regulation, reporting and reduction obligations for regulated emitters in the province. It will also enact regulations to issue "Emissions Units", "Offset Credits" and "Early Reductions Credits", enact regulations to establish a public registry for the foregoing units, enact regulations to govern the trading of these units and enter into agreements with other governments to harmonize Quebec's regime with that of other jurisdictions.
In Bill-42, the Quebec government proposes to go further than any other proposed regulatory system in North America in defining the scope of application for emission reductions. Indeed, the scope of application of the cap and trade system is described as follows:
"46.1 This subdivision applies to a person or municipality (the "emitter") who carried on or operates a business, facility or establishment that emits greenhouse gases, that distributes a product whose production or use entails the emission of greenhouse gases or that is considered to be such an emitter by regulation of the Government"
The inclusion within the footprint of the distributor of the emissions caused by the production and use of the products they sell, will be a rude awakening for many in the province. In particular if the reporting and reduction thresholds chosen are 10,000 and 25,000 tons CO2 equivalent.