by Mathew Carr
July 16-19, 2021 (LONDON): China’s new national carbon market began online trading Friday, a move that demonstrates the world is intensifying its climate fight after 30 years of insufficient effort.
Carbon emissions of more than 2,000 power generators in the world’s most populous nation will be covered by the program initially, Xinhua reported. The greenhouse gas emissions in the market is to be 4 billion tons of carbon dioxide, which is more than double the size of the European Union market, which was until last week the world’s biggest.
Economists say placing a price on pollution is an economically efficient way to tackle the damage caused by heat-trapping gas.
Friday’s much-delayed move is probably the biggest ever gain for climate action in history. See this chart:
Climate Action Leaps Forward
The price was the equivalent of about $8 a ton, versus about $63 in the EU market:
China Daily said this about how the market would progress: After the power industry, more industries will inevitably be gradually included in the national carbon emissions trading market. Research institutions predict that in the next few years, eight major energy-intensive industries, including steel, nonferrous metals, petrochemicals, chemicals, building materials, papermaking, electric power and aviation, will be included. This also means that the use of carbon trading rights to promote green upgrades in various industries will become the general trend. (Link at bottom)
As in Europe, China is beginning its market gently in a bid to gradually show its businesses and consumers the benefits of cleaning up:
Less Carbon Intense
Link to story that adds context: http://carrzee.org/2021/04/15/chinas-carbon-market-seems-set-up-to-fail-yet-it-could-quickly-get-strict-analysis/
(Updates with prices)
See also this chart from a second China Daily story, citing the World Bank: