China to pilot carbon emissions trading project

Updated: 2011-07-18 07:32

By Qiu Bo and Yang Jun (China Daily)

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GUIYANG - China will start a pilot carbon emissions trading project, and gradually set up a carbon emissions trading market, said a top cofficial at a major international conference on Sunday.

Speaking at the Eco-Forum Global (EFG) 2011 in Guiyang, capital of Southwest China's Guizhou province, Xie Zhenhua, vice-minister of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the country's top economic planner, said China would also speed up the establishment of a standardized system for energy saving and environmental protection, and tighten regulations on identifying and labeling low-carbon products.

For example, China was determined to straighten out prices of resource-based products, further applying differential power pricing and punitive electricity tariffs, he added.

The government would provide more incentives, such as preferential taxation policies, for companies to develop energy-conservation technologies and products, according to Xie.

China would also continue to boost financial support for green energy and manage growth in energy-intensive industries, said the vice-minister.

Also at the forum, Bertie Ahern, former prime minister of the Republic of Ireland, said eco-innovation is the key to achieving a sustainable world.

Ahern on Saturday urged countries to turn more ideas into economic growth through products that reduce impact on the environment.

Climate change remains an ever-pressing global issue, he said, citing International Energy Agency data that suggests carbon emissions were at their highest in 2010 after a brief dip in 2009 due to the global financial crisis.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon also sent a message to the forum, urging more cooperation between different partners, including governments, businesses, civil society groups and academia to tackle environmental problems.

Ban said the world faces impending and interlinked crises related to food and nutrition security, water resources, biodiversity, land degradation and climate change, under the influence of which the world economic recovery remains fragile and prospects for growth remain uncertain for many countries.

"To tackle these crises, we need to work together," Ban said, before adding that he believed the forum will provide important input to preparations for next year's Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development.

The EFG 2011, held annually in Guiyang since 2009, lasts two days and aims to promote a balance between developing modern industrialization and establishing ecological societies.

This year's event - themed Green Changes toward Eco-civilization, Challenges and Opportunities" - attracted hundreds of government officials, scholars, NGO representatives and business people from around the world. It was co-sponsored by the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Peking University and Guizhou's provincial government.

Zhao Kezhi, the provincial governor, vowed during the conference that his authority will stick to the plan of establishing an eco-society at the same time as developing the economy.

"More advanced industrialization will be welcomed to rationally explore resources and to boost the economy," Zhao said.

Xinhua contributed to this story.