History PDF Print

The WCI began in February 2007 when the Governors of Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington signed an agreement directing their respective states to develop a regional target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, participate in a multi-state registry to track and manage greenhouse gas emissions in the region, and develop a market-based program to reach the target. 

The WCI built on existing greenhouse gas reduction efforts in the individual states as well as two existing regional efforts. In 2003, California, Oregon and Washington created the West Coast Global Warming Initiative, and in 2006, Arizona and New Mexico launched the Southwest Climate Change Initiative. 

During 2007 and 2008, the Premiers of British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec, and the Governors of Montana and Utah joined the original five states in committing to tackle climate change at a regional level.  All 11 jurisdictions collaborated in the development of the Design for the WCI Regional Program, which was released in July 2010.

In November, 2011, the Western Climate Initiative formed Western Climate Initiative, Inc. (WCI, Inc.), a non-profit corporation that will provide administrative and technical services to support the implementation of state and provincial greenhouse gas emissions trading programs.

British Columbia, California, Ontario, Quebec and Manitoba are continuing to work together through the Western Climate Initiative to develop and harmonize their emissions trading program policies. They are also continuing to work with Western, Midwestern, and Northeast states on a range of other climate and clean energy strategies through the North America 2050 Initiative. North America 2050 is a forum for states, provinces and stakeholders to identify leadership opportunities in climate and clean energy policy.

View the original 2007 Governors' agreement that established the WCI.

View the press release about the creation of the WCI.

View WCI milestones.