Beijing, Shanghai and Mexico City have each kickstarted carbon credit schemes in an effort to boost clean technologies and push companies towards less polluting practices.
Over 190 companies in Shanghai from various sectors, including steel, iron and aviation, have participated to the initiative. Meanwhile, another scheme is set to begin in Beijing next month, with 435 companies taking part.
China promoted the pilot carbon trading scheme to assess its usefulness in reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and air pollution. Companies that emit more carbon than what they should are able to buy carbon credits – for up to 9,500 tonnes of carbon – from those that pollute less.
If the pilot project is successful, a national carbon trading scheme might be launched in China to mitigate climate change.
Carbon trading was first launched after the Kyoto Protocol as a way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Air pollution is a serious issue in Chinese cities, especially because the country relies heavily on fossil fuels like coal, which was recently linked to a reduction of life expectancy.
Mexico also announced the creation of its first carbon trading scheme. It was presented on the stock exchange by the Bolsa Mexicana de Valores (BMV) that called it MEXICO2.
Carbon trading came under scrutiny in the UK recently, after elderly investors were reported to having been tricked into buying voluntary carbon credits as investments, when in fact they’re just a means of offsetting emissions.
Interpol revealed in June that because the carbon trading market lacked of clarity and regulations, it was targeted by criminals, who tried to sell carbon units that did not exist.
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