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China to pursue national carbon market to cut record emissions



China, the world’s largest polluter, has confirmed plans to set regional caps and launch pilot programs that will establish trading rights linked to carbon emissions, to balance pollution with economic growth.

Authorities have chosen seven cities and provinces, including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong, to act as pilots for the initiation of a national carbon market.

Talking to Bloomberg, Wang Shu, an official with the climate division of the National Development and Reform Commission, China’s top planning agency, said, “We’ve brought forward this plan because it’s been prioritised in the central government’s economic reforms.

“The central government is pushing reforms, so everything is speeding up.” 

Foreigners will be able to trade carbon permits on the exchange in the southern city of Shenzhen, near Hong Kong.

It is hoped the scheme will help China cut its record high emissions by 45% by 2020, from 2005 levels.

Although China retains the highest level of emissions in the world, it is also a leader in the renewable energy industry – particularly solar.

The Chinese government has also encouraged greener ways of living, asking citizens to use sustainable transport to battle pollution levels.

Photo source: BriYYZ via Flickr

Further Reading:

Beijing to stop polluting industries from further expanding in the city

China updates environmental law to target polluters

Beijing issues first ‘orange’ pollution warning amid smog crisis

Chinese coal pollution ‘responsible for 250,000 deaths’ in 2011

Invisible cities and flammable rivers: China’s pollution problem


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