— Gadgets

China steps up climate fight with emissions trading scheme

China launched its long-awaited emissions trading system, a vital tool in its quest to drive down climate change-causing greenhouse gases and go carbon neutral by 2060. The scheme was launched with China, the world’s biggest carbon emitter, seeking to take a global leadership role in the climate crisis leading to a crucial UN summit in November. China has hailed it as laying the foundations for what would become the world’s biggest carbon trading market, forcing thousands of Chinese companies to cut their pollution or face deep economic hits.

The program was launched days after the European Union unveiled its detailed plan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. However, deep questions remain over the limited scale and effectiveness of China’s emission trading scheme, including the low price placed on pollution. More broadly, analysts and experts say much more needs to be done if China meets its environmental targets, including reaching peak emissions by 2030.

China’s economic and energy policies are becoming more aligned with the government’s environment goals, according to Zhang Jianyu, vice-president of Environmental Defense Fund China.

“But there is a long way to go,” he said.

China first announced plans for a nationwide carbon market a decade ago, but progress was slowed by the influential coal-industry lobby and policies that prioritised economic growth over the environment.

The scheme will set pollution caps for big-power businesses for the first tim and allow firms to buy the right to pollute others with a lower carbon footprint. According to the International Energy Agency data, the market will initially cover 2,162 big power producers that generate about a seventh of the global carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels.

Those power producers account for 40 percent of the 13.92 billion tonnes of Earth warming gases belched out by Chinese factories in 2019. Citigroup estimates $800 million worth of credits will be bought for this year, rising to $25 billion by the end of the decade. That would make China’s trading scheme about a third the size of Europe’s market, currently the biggest in the world.

Low ambition

Initially, the scheme was expected to be far more significant in scope, covering seven sectors, including aviation and petrochemicals.

But the government “pared down ambitions” as economic growth took precedence amid the pandemic-induced slowdown, according to Lauri Myllyvirta, lead analyst at the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air.

“China’s coal, cement and steel production have all gone up as the government pours in billions of dollars to energy-intensive sectors to boost growth after the pandemic,” Myllyvirta said.

Molly Aronson

Molly Aronson is a 26-year-old government politician who enjoys bowling, running and jigsaw puzzles. She is creative and exciting, but can also be very greedy and a bit greedy.She is an australian Christian who defines herself as straight. She has a post-graduate degree in philosophy, politics and economics. She is allergic to grasshoppers.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button