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Emissions-trading Program Vital for China's Green Goals

Source:Xinhua Published:2021-07-19 14:04

China's long-awaited national carbon market started online trading Friday, demonstrating the country's unswerving commitment and concrete actions to honor its carbon-reduction pledge.

China has vowed to peak its carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060. The latest trading scheme serves as a vital policy tool to achieve the country's green goals.

The landmark move of using market-based mechanisms to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is an epitome of a country taking definitive nationwide actions to fight global climate change proactively.

According to the scheme, companies are assigned quotas for carbon emissions and can sell surplus emission allowances to those in need of more pollution quotas. Carbon emissions by more than 2,000 power companies covered in the first batch of trading are estimated to exceed 4 billion tonnes per year, making the market the world's largest in terms of the amount of greenhouse gas emissions covered.

As the country is expected to realize carbon neutrality from carbon peaking in the shortest time in global history, the carbon market will help strike a balance between economic development and carbon emission reduction of the world's second-largest economy and the largest developing nation.

Compared with traditional administrative means, the scheme will not only hold the companies accountable but also provide economic incentives for companies to proactively reduce emissions, drive green technology innovation, create financing channels, and lower the cost of emission reduction for the whole society.

China, which leads in renewable energy production figures globally, has spared no effort in its green transition. Its latest efforts came as it endeavors to foster a new development paradigm and achieve high-quality development.

The emissions-trading program is also expected to add impetus and confidence to global cooperation in addressing climate change. It will also provide experience for other countries and regions that are working to reduce their carbon footprint.

The scheme will likely expand to industries like steel, non-ferrous metals, petrochemicals, and aviation in the future. The Ministry of Ecology and Environment will roll out regulations on trading and improve relevant standards and management schemes while expanding the trading varieties and methods.

It is worth noting that getting to a clean, renewable energy future won't happen overnight. China's launch of its emissions-trading program is just the first step in the right direction.

Editor:Zhao Hanqing