Business / Green China

Carbon trading gains momentum in China

(Xinhua) Updated: 2013-07-22 10:45

Following Shenzhen, six other areas -- Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing, Hubei and Guangdong -- will launch the scheme soon.

"These areas were carefully chosen, because they vary in levels of economic development, industrial structure as well as residents' environmental protection awareness," said Su, who added that the experience gained can be applied to the whole country.

"Shenzhen, which is already a harbor for high-tech and environmentally-friendly enterprises, will further raise the market entry threshold and reject energy-consuming and high-polluting companies. But for the less-developed western city of Chongqing, the government has to persuade heavy industries to balance profit growth and environmental protection," said Su.

Qi Shaozhou, a professor at Wuhan Univerisity, said the emissions trading scheme in Hubei will set an example for parts of central and western of China on how to lift people out of poverty while still curbing pollution. It will also help the regional government, local enterprises and environmental protection organizations come to a consensus on eco-development plans.

Experts on the forum also applauded how the public has changed its concept of carbon trading.

"Five years ago when the China-Beijing Environmental Exchange was launched, officials would prevaricate, and enterprises and the general public said they did not understand the reason why such an exchange should be established," said Xiong Yan. "But things are totally different now."

Chery Auto has invested 20 million yuan in the water supply network and rainwater collection system in its plant in Guiyang, reducing sewage disposal, said a manager surnamed Wang at Chery's subsidy in Guiyang.

She said more companies in western regions, including those in the steel, cement and chemical industries, value corporate social responsibility greatly and are willing to participate in carbon emissions trading.

Challenges for nationwide market

While they hailed the pilot schemes as a landmark step for China in building a nationwide market, experts said fundamental problems should be resolved before a market mechanism for curbing greenhouse gas emissions can be called a success in the country.

"We want a law on carbon emissions trading and low-carbon development as soon as possible," said Li Junfeng, head of China's National Climate Change Strategy Research and International Cooperation Center.

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