Participation in the Western Climate Initiative

This page last reviewed June 11, 2014


Since its inception in 2007, California has participated in the Western Climate Initiative  (WCI).  The WCI is a collaboration of independent jurisdictions working together to identify, evaluate, and implement emissions trading policies to tackle climate change at a regional level.  Following extensive consultation with stakeholders, the WCI Partner jurisdictions released comprehensive recommendations  for designing and implementing an emissions trading program.  The WCI recommendations are consistent with the design of the ARB cap-and-trade program.

In November 2011, the WCI Partner jurisdictions created Western Climate Initiative, Incorporated (WCI, Inc.), a non-profit corporation formed to provide administrative and technical support to state and provincial greenhouse gas emissions trading programs. 

The administrative services that WCI, Inc. will provide to its participating jurisdictions include:

  1. developing, implementing, and maintaining a system for tracking compliance instruments for emissions trading programs;
  2. developing, implementing, and maintaining capability to execute allowance auction and reserve sales; and 
  3. developing, implementing, and maintaining capability to conduct market monitoring.

ARB’s agreement with WCI, Inc. provides ARB access to the administrative systems that WCI, Inc. is developing.  The agreement furthers the goals of AB 32.  The benefits of participating in WCI, Inc. will include reduced administrative costs through cost sharing with other jurisdictions and enhanced security and effectiveness of program infrastructure across programs, including the tracking system, auction operation, and market monitoring.

As shown in the agreement, ARB’s share of the WCI, Inc. budget is approximately $3.7 million over two years.  Quebec’s share of the budget over the same time period is approximately $1.6 million.  Thus, the preliminary WCI, Inc. budget  for its first two years of operation is $5.3 million.  The distribution of funding across jurisdictions is based on the number of participating jurisdictions and the total emissions covered by each jurisdiction’s emissions trading program.  WCI, Inc. is in its formative stages, and consequently its budget is expected to be revised based on updated information.  Further, once fully operational, it is anticipated that other jurisdictions will join WCI, Inc. which will benefit all participating jurisdictions by further reducing administrative costs.

Contact Us

For questions, please contact the Cap-and-Trade Program