The province of Quebec has announced the launch of a carbon emissions cap-and-trade system in 2012, days after Canada became the only country to ratify and then withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol. From January, emitters in Quebec will be able to buy and sell greenhouse gas emission allowances on a local market during an initial trial run that could eventually lead to a continental cap and trade system. The following year caps will be imposed on 75 big industrial polluters in the province. In 2015, fuel distributors and importers who exceed the annual threshold will also be subject to capping. The Western Climate Initiative -- a collaboration of US states and Canadian provinces to curb emissions - includes California, Quebec, and the Canadian provinces of Ontario, British Columbia and Manitoba have committed to a cap-and-trade system. The second step in Quebec's program is to reach agreements with those four partners to link their cap and trade systems together.