China’s Shenzhen Sets June 17 as Start of Carbon Emissions Trading

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China's Shenzhen, a Special Economic Zone, will start its carbon emissions trading on June 17, its Mayor Qin Xu said in an interview with a local newspaper.

Being the world's biggest emitter, China has endorsed pilot programs to control and trade emissions in its seven manufacturing centres. It has targeted to reduce by as much as 45 per cent its emissions per economic unit before end of the decade.

In so doing, analysts at Bloomberg New Energy Finance forecast China will force regulate 800 million to 1 billion metric tonnes of emissions by 2015, the biggest cap-and-trade program outside of Europe.

"This is a clear sign that Chinese carbon-trading regions are actually starting their programs, paving the way for more to begin this year," said Milo Sjardin, the Singapore-based head of Asia-Pacific analysis for New Energy Finance.

Carbon emissions trading specifically targets carbon dioxide, calculated in tonnes. It is a common method that nations apply for them to meet their obligations as mandated under the Kyoto Protocol, which is basically to decrease carbon emissions in an attempt to reduce further potential damage to the world's overall climate structure.

Although there are two known major market-based options, the other being carbon tax, carbon emissions trading is much preferred by nations around the world to regulate greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Australia employs the carbon tax.

According to Mr Qin, Shenzhen's carbon emissions trading will initially include 635 companies, which discharged 31.7 million tonnes of GHG in 2010, representing 38 per cent of the city's total.

Beijing and Shanghai may also start their carbon markets in June.

Other carbon emissions trading markets in China scheduled to open in 2013 include Guangdong, Tianjin, Chongqing and Hubei.

Located north of Hong Kong, Shenzhen is a financial center in South China.

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