China launches carbon trading system for decarbonising its economy
As the world's largest polluter takes action to decarbonize its economy by 2060, China launched a carbon trading scheme on Monday designed to reduce emissions.
For the first time, the scheme allows provincial governments to set emissions limits for big-power enterprises and allows companies to purchase the right to pollute from others with a lower carbon footprint.
It is expected that the initiative, originally planned to be introduced in 2017, will minimize total emissions by making it more expensive for power firms to pollute.
The system is expected to eclipse the European Union's system to become the largest carbon trading program in the world (ETS).
Prior to 2030, Beijing pledged to peak emissions and become carbon neutral 30 years later.
However, as experts warn China is actually expanding its production of coal, the ETS launches, and after efforts to reduce pollution from seven other industries have been pared back.
Coal still provides about 60 percent of China's power, and its large industry lobby is expected to push hard for favorable carbon caps.
Despite the commitment to bring down pollution, new coal plants have also surged.
Greenpeace China's energy expert Li Shuo said coal output is edging back to the levels seen when pollution peaked between 2012-2014.
Maritime Business World