The Quebec government is introducing a cap-and-trade system in an effort to reduce carbon emissions in the province.

Quebec will join the state of California and be the first Canadian province to start enforcing cap-and-trade regulations for carbon emissions.

Environment Minister Pierre Arcand said as of Jan. 1, 2013 the ceiling for allowable emissions will gradually become stricter.

Industries that invest in cleaner technologies will be rewarded by being able to trade carbon credits with those who emit more than what is permitted.

Arcand said the cap-and-trade system is more flexible and fair than imposing a carbon tax on all carbon production.

He said the new system will eventually apply to petroleum companies as well, which he said could cause a rise in gas prices.

Quebec is the first province in Canada to adopt such a system.

With files from The Canadian Press