Canadian cement industry cautiously optimistic on Quebec cap-and-trade programme

Canadian cement industry cautiously optimistic on Quebec cap-and-trade programme
Published: 07 July 2011

The Cement Association of Canada (ACC) has expressed cautious optimism following the Quebec government’s decision to go ahead with the implementation of its two-stage greenhouse gas emissions cap-and-trade programme. The scheme will be set up in 2012 with binding targets taking effect the following year, similar to California’s programme.

"We understand Quebec’s decision to develop a system of cap and trade and, given its potential adverse impact on the economy and competitiveness of our industry, we appreciate this two-step approach," said Michael McSweeney President and CEO of the ACC. "However, it is crucial that the transition period is used to enable the government to be responsive to industry and to adjust the proposed regulations as required. We reiterate our commitment to continue our work with government counterparts to develop measures that will make our common environmental and economic objectives are achieved," he added.

However, cement producers in Quebec are concerned about the lack of comparable programmes in Ontario and neighbouring US states, leaving Quebec cement makers in a competitively-challenging position. The ACC has encouraged all partners in the Western Climate Initiative, including British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec governments, to implement a harmonised approach to climate change legislation. This would enable the Quebec cement industry to remain competitive while it, along with the rest of Canada and the US, is recovering from the recent recession.