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China creates cap-and-trade

By LAN LAN in Beijing and HU YONGQI in Washington (China Daily USA)

Updated: 2015-09-26 14:11:23


China said on Friday that it plans to launch a national emission trading system in 2017, part of a joint presidential statement issued by China and the United States on Friday.

It will inject new political energy into climate change talks ahead of December's UN climate summit in Paris.

The trading system will cover power generation, steel, cement, and other key industrial sectors, as well as implement a "green dispatch" system to favor low-carbon sources in the electric grid.

Trials in seven locations began in 2011, but the plan indicated that the creation of a carbon trading market and putting a price on green house gas emissions has become a national level strategy, experts said.

Yang Fuqiang, a senior adviser on climate change, energy and environment at the National Resources Defense Council, said climate change has increasingly become a highlight for China-US cooperation, as the two nations are the world's largest emitters of greenhouse gases and need to work more closely for the common good on other core issues besides trade and the economy.

The move is a step forward under the deal reached between leaders of two countries in November, during US President Barack Obama's state visit to Beijing. China pledged to cap carbon dioxide emissions around 2030 and make its best efforts to cap them earlier, in a joint China-US announcement at the time.

China and the US are developing new heavy-duty vehicle fuel efficiency standards, to be finalized in 2016 and implemented in 2019. Both countries are also stepping up their work to phase down super-polluting hydrofluorocarbons.

The two countries also announced further steps to help accelerate the transition to low-carbon development internationally, including a new climate finance commitment by China of 20 billion yuan ($3.1 billion) to help developing economies combat climate change and new steps to control public support for high carbon activities. The United States reiterated the promise to raise $3 billion for the Green Climate Fund.

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