News / Asia

Despite Pollution Worries, China Experiments with Carbon Trading

Shannon Van Sant
As China scrambles to respond to the choking smog that has blanketed Beijing in recent weeks, authorities in several major cities are experimenting with carbon trading platforms. The schemes are one effort to get control over greenhouse gases in an economy still hungry for cheap energy.

Beijing’s smoggy days are literally off the charts, with small airborne particles that reduce visibility and threaten health.

It has been a persistent concern in recent years, but spiking pollution levels in January are sparking a public outcry.

Emissions from coal-fired electricity plants and busy factories are part of the problem that officials hope to get control over through carbon trading platforms.

Seven cities are expected to open carbon markets later this year, including Tianjin. 

“The government has decided to start with pilots [programs] because the carbon trading is something new to China," said David Tang, secretary of the board of the Tianjin Carbon Exchange.  "So we want to have a number of pilots to explore the use of the market.  And, on the basis of the experience gained create a national market for this instrument,” said Tang.

China wants to launch a national carbon trading program by 2016.  If it is successful, analysts say, the program would be one of the largest in the world and would help the country meet its target of cutting carbon dioxide emissions by 45 percent, within seven years.  

The platforms allow companies to earn credits for lowering greenhouse gas emissions, which can then be traded.  If it works, it would encourage for-profit businesses to invest in green technology.    

Kevin Tu is senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and head of the China Energy and Climate Program.

“They need to do more to replace coal use by other types of energy carriers, such as nuclear, hydro, national gas," he added. "And, in the longer future, renewable should be the way for the country to move forward in energy development.”

Although carbon trading in the country’s booming economy could be a windfall for the still-struggling global emissions markets, critics say government intervention, state ownership of companies and lack of transparency pose big hurdles to its success.

As public concern builds pressure for the government to find a solution, Wu Changhua, greater China director of the Climate Group, says there is a broad shift under way in how Chinese weigh their quality of life.

“The public basically started to realize it's not jobs, I want to have better environment quality there as well,” he said.

China has long put economic growth ahead of environmental concerns, making it the world’s biggest polluter. Carbon trading supporters hope that the markets could be one way to curb pollution and keep the economy growing.

You May Like

Captured IS Militants Explain Why They Fought

Fighters from Turkey, Syria tell VOA Kurdish Service what drew them to extremism, jihad More

Security Experts Split on Kenyan Barrier Wall

Experts divided on whether initiative aiming to keep out al-Shabab militants is long-awaited solution or misguided effort More

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Officials say they hope to turn Manila into the next Macau, which has long been Asia’s gambling hub More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: JKF from: Ottawa, canada
February 06, 2013 5:41 PM
Carbon trading is a fantasy, dreamed out by financial people, to make sure they have more parasitic jobs. The sources of pollution must be dealt at the product design and at the production facilities, to ensure clean inputs are used, and production processes actually capture all the pollutants, before they are allowed to exist the production processes; and I am not just talking about machinery producers. The other aspect is to re-forest/regreen all the areas that do not have appropriate forests/shrubbs, to capture CO2 and increase the production of O2. Carbon trading is the new scheme for continuing to pollute the globe....
In Response

by: Tmissions from: Tibetan spiritual
February 09, 2013 9:01 AM
Tibetan spiritual : advocating the truth , and the consummation of wisdom, a satisfactory compassion

. Unyielding from power and repression from slavery , indomitable , unyielding new militarism .

by: HIroshi Nishida from: Osaka, Japan
February 03, 2013 6:32 AM
A headache problem: toxic particles coming from China.

Severe air pollution in China is famous in the international community. However, this is not mere Chinese domestic problem. The toxic particles which caused death of Chinese people are coming from the continent to Japan. Air pollution in China is due to the aggressive policy to develop the Chinese economy. Furthermore, ineffective and sloppy regulations worsen the situation. In the past, Japan had the trouble of the same problems, but there were a few technological solutions for the environmental pollution. Therefore, it took a long time to overcome those obstacles. However, theses days, various excellent and effective technologies have been available. Hence, developing nations are now under an idealistic condition to tackle the problems of environmental pollution compared to the situation in Japan facing forty years ago.

It is indifference of Chinese government that cause today’s serious air pollution containing hazardous particles, which are drifting toward Japanese territory. We strongly propose the sincere attitude of the Chinese government to apply effective measures against exportation of toxic particles.

See http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20130203-00000004-asahi-soci.view-000#contents-body

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More