Western Climate Initiative

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The Western Climate Initiative (WCI), launched in February 2007, is a collaboration of seven Western states and three Canadian provinces with a goal to reduce emissions from greenhouse gases. The group includes Arizona, California, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba and Quebec.

WCI has a goal to reduce emissions 15 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, or roughly 33 percent below business-as-usual levels.[1][2] Each state or province will set its carbon emission limits and will be based on a combination of free and auctioned carbon allocations. A minimum of 10 percent of the credits must be auctioned to start, rising to 25 percent in 2020. However, individual states can raise the amount as high as they want.[3]

In July of 2008, the coalition of U.S. states and Canadian provinces released a draft plan that called for a launch of its carbon cap and trade system in 2012. The Western Climate Initiative's system will be phased in starting with industrial process emissions, with emissions from transportation and other fuels added to the system in 2015. It also will include emissions from electricity imported from sources outside of the group.[4]

WCI is one of three regional regional emissions markets in the United States and Canada. The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, due to launch in January 2009, and Midwestern Regional Greenhouse Gas Reduction Accord, established in November 2007, are the other two. [5]


  1. WCI. WCI.
  2. Western Climate Initiative. Pew Center on Global Climate Change.
  3. Q&A on the Western Climate Initiative. {{{org}}}.
  4. U.S.-Canada Carbon Trading Group Eyes 2012 Start. Reuters/Yahoo! News.
  5. Regional Initiatives. Pew Center on Global Climate Change.