Carbon trading in the Asian Century: China’s ETS on track

● By Alex Lo, Griffith University, Australia ● In the United Nation’s annual climate change conference held in Doha last December, delegates from 194 countries came together at the last minute to extend the Kyoto Protocol. The Protocol is a legally binding climate accord by which rich countries are required to make quantified carbon emission cuts. But the second phase of the Protocol, commencing in 2013, still omits China – the world’s biggest national source of greenhouse gases. ina is often seen as a roadblock in international climate change talks. Its own greenhouse gas emissions have soared in the past decade. With a population of 1.3 billion it has contributed 19.1% of the greenhouse gas emissions produced worldwide. Senior Chinese officials reject emission reduction in absolute terms. They insist that rich nations should do more on the climate before they commit more. But China is more ambitious back home than it appears in international scenes. It has pledged to cut back emissions intensity (emissions per unit of GDP) by 40-45%, relative to 2005 by 2020. Short-term goals include reduction in energy intensity by 16% and carbon intensity by 17%, for the period from 2011 through 2015. The most prominent plan is to run a national emission trading scheme (ETS), ahead of the US and along with Australia. It is destined to be the world’s second-largest emissions market. The notion of carbon emission trading has found its way in industrialised economies, notably the European Union (EU). Yet, carbon trading had experienced an uncertain period in 2009 when the world economy stumbled and international climate change negotiations encountered major hurdles. At the time of uncertainties, a non-traditional market advocate cast a vote of confidence for the contested concept of carbon trading. That is China, which has called itself a “socialist market economy” ...Zum vollständigen Artikel

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