News / Science & Technology

Beijing Opens Carbon Trading Scheme to Fight Emissions

FILE - Steam billows from a chimney of a heating plant near the World Trade Centre Tower III, a 330-meter-tall (1,083 feet) skyscraper, in central Beijing.
FILE - Steam billows from a chimney of a heating plant near the World Trade Centre Tower III, a 330-meter-tall (1,083 feet) skyscraper, in central Beijing.
Reuters
Beijing became the third Chinese city to launch a carbon trading scheme on Thursday, hoping to better regulate soaring CO2 emissions from its main power generators and manufacturers. First trades are reported to have gone through at 50 yuan per permit.
 
The capital’s scheme follows newly established markets in Shenzhen and Shanghai, with Guangdong province set to open one in December that will be the second-biggest in the world after the European Union.
 
The regional markets are part of China's strategy to cut its greenhouse gas emissions per unit of GDP to 40-45 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 as the country seeks to limit climate change, address future energy security issues and stave off international criticism for being the world's biggest emitter.
 
The China Beijing Environment Exchange (CBEEX), which hosts trading in the Beijing market, said two bilateral trades for a total of 40,000 permits had been registered on Thursday at 50 yuan per permit. Each permit represents one ton of carbon dioxide.
 
State-owned oil and gas company Sinopec Corp and investment bank CITIC Securities each bought 20,000 permits.
 
In addition, a smaller deal for 800 permits went through on the exchange at 51.25 yuan.
 
In comparison, emission permits closed on Wednesday in Shenzhen at 80 yuan and in Shanghai at 28 yuan. The different in price levels shows it is still early days for market participants and that there is great deal of uncertainty about whether permits are scarce, according to observers.
 
The Beijing emissions trading scheme will rein in emissions from 490 power and heat generators, manufacturers and large buildings in China's smoggy capital.
 
The government has not released information on how many permits have been issued to scheme participants, but has said 42 percent of the city's total CO2 emissions will be covered.
 
Coal-fired power plants, which contribute to Beijing's huge air pollution problem and were linked in June to 60 percent of the region's premature deaths in a Greenpeace report, will receive free permits for 2013 equal to 99.9 percent of their average emissions over 2009 to 2012.
 
By 2015, the amount will drop to 99.5 percent.
 
Manufacturers will receive permits this year equal to 98 percent of their historical emissions, falling to 94 percent in 2015.
 
Those that emit more than they have permits to cover can buy additional ones, formally called Beijing Emissions Allowances (BEAs), from others or use offset credits issued by the central government, known as Chinese Certified Emissions Reductions (CCERs).

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid