March 20, 2013
Concerns about further delays to the link of California and Québec’s carbon markets increased last week when an Air Resources Board (ARB) vote failed to appear as an agenda item for this Friday’s meeting – and with one observer warning that legal challenges to the programme have had a "chilling effect."
In late February, the ARB submitted the proposals for linkage to the office of the California governor, who has 45 days in which to consider advice from the attorney general.
"Linking the programmes will provide a framework for additional partners to join, and demonstrate a workable template for urgently needed action," wrote Mary Nichols, chairwoman of the ARB. "Thus, it is important and timely to demonstrate that linked programmes offer a path forward that can include additional states and provinces."
Observers were expecting that the vote would take place at ARB’s board meeting on 21 March, before the deadline for the governor’s decision on 8 April.
Tyson Dyck, associate at Torys in Toronto, said that the failed legal challenge to ARB’s offset protocols by the Citizens Climate Lobby may have had a chilling effect on the agency.
"ARB is being very cautious at the moment," he said. "That litigation has had a chilling effect on [the ARB]. They want to make sure that any linkage with Québec won’t expose them to any additional litigation."