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Guangdong launches carbon trading program

2013-11-28 08:17 China Daily Web Editor: qindexing

Provincial initiative will limit CO2 emissions from 202 companies

The government of Guangdong, the largest provincial economy in China, issued a program on the first batch of carbon permits on Tuesday, paving the way for the launch of their trading before the end of this year.

The program caps carbon dioxide emissions from 202 companies in power, iron and steel, petrochemical and cement industries at 350 million metric tons annually, according to the provincial development and reform commission.

The enterprises accounted for more than half of the total carbon emissions in the province in 2010.

They include the operations of China Petrochemical Corp, China National Offshore Oil Corp, China Resources (Holdings) Co Ltd and Anhui Conch Cement Co Ltd in Guangdong.

The program also includes 38 million metric tons of reserved permits for 40 new projects to be built between 2013 and 2020 in the four industries and for adjustment.

Ninety-seven percent of the permits will be distributed free before Dec 10, and 3 percent will be auctioned at Guangzhou-based China Emissions Exchange in mid-December with an opening price of 60 yuan ($9.85) per metric ton.

The auctioned permits will increase to account for 10 percent of total permits in 2015 and still higher in years ahead.

Carbon permit trading will start by the end of next month at the China Emissions Exchange, which was established in December last year.

More industries, including ceramics, nonferrous metals, textiles, plastics and papermaking, will be covered by carbon trading in the future.

The income from auctioned permits will be used to support enterprises in energy-saving projects.

Tasked with a 19.5 percent drop in carbon emission intensity between 2011 and 2015, Guangdong is one of the pilot places in the country for carbon trading.

The country's first carbon trading market opened in Shenzhen, in Guangdong province, in June.

In Shanghai, a carbon trade platform was launched at the Shanghai Environment and Energy Exchange on Tuesday when the first carbon permits in the financial hub traded at 27 yuan.

The platform caps carbon dioxide emissions from 191 major energy users in Shanghai, covering sectors including electricity generation, manufacturing, airlines, harbors and commercial buildings.

These users can get free permits from the government to cover their expected emissions. But when they exceed those emissions they are required to buy permits in the market from companies having a surplus, or from offset projects elsewhere in China.

According to the Shanghai Municipal Development and Reform Commission, which administers the platform, the trade volume on Tuesday stood at 12,000 metric tons of carbon products worth 317,000 yuan.

As the world's biggest carbon emitter, China has pledged to reduce its carbon emissions per unit of gross domestic product by up to 45 percent by 2020 from the level in 2005.

The country has planned seven regional carbon markets, with the one in Beijing scheduled to open on Thursday and more due in Tianjin and Chongqing municipalities and Hebei province.

The seven pilot markets will regulate more than 700 million tons of carbon dioxide annually, making China the world's second-largest carbon permit market after the European Union.

The regional markets will generate experience because the central government envisages a national trading platform.

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