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As Brown visits China, California-Quebec carbon-trade deal advances

April 09, 2013|By Anthony York
  • A coal-burning power plant in China. California Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to discuss the state's carbon-trading plan with Chinese officials.
A coal-burning power plant in China. California Gov. Jerry Brown is expected… (Martin Meissner )

BEIJING -- As he brings his message of carbon reduction to top officials in China, Gov. Jerry Brown moved another step closer to broadening California's carbon-trading market Tuesday.

Before crossing the Pacific, the governor sent a letter to the state Air Resources Board enabling it to move ahead with plans to link California's carbon-trading market with one in the Canadian province of Quebec.

Carbon markets aim to reduce overall pollution by creating a system that limits the total amount of carbon emissions allowed but enables big polluters to buy the right to pollute more.

In an interview across the street from Tiananmen Square on Tuesday, California Environmental Protection Agency  Secretary Matt Rodriquez said the board would review the plan again this fall. But barring any changes, the linkage between the two markets would become official on Jan. 1.

If it goes ahead, companies in California would be able to buy pollution credits from those in Canada and vice-versa.

This week, Brown is expected to discuss California's nascent carbon market with Chinese leaders who are trying to create their own cap-and-trade system to help reduce pollution here.

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