(BN) China to Quicken Development of Carbon Trading System, Xie Says


China to Quicken Development of Carbon Trading System, Xie Says
2010-11-23 06:21:37.157 GMT

By Bloomberg News
Nov. 23 (Bloomberg) -- China, the world's biggest energy
consumer, will "quicken steps" to develop a carbon trading
system to help cut greenhouse gas emissions, said Xie Zhenhua,
the nation's top official overseeing climate change talks.
Xie, speaking to reporters in Beijing days before the start
of global climate change talks in Cancun, Mexico, also said
China was studying the possibility of implementing a carbon tax.
He didn't offer any new proposals for the talks, reaffirming
China's policy that rich countries such as the U.S. bore most of
the responsibility for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions.
"Developed countries should take the lead in mitigating
climate change due to their historical high-level emissions,"
said Xie, a vice-chairman of the National Development and Reform
Commission. "China won't accept anything beyond its capacity as
a developing country."
China is the world's biggest emitter of the greenhouse
gasses scientists say cause global warming. Progress on reaching
a binding global accord have foundered partly because of China's
demand that rich countries give more technological and financial
assistance to developing countries to combat climate change.
China says developing countries, which need to improve the
economic well-being of their people, shouldn't bear most of the
burden of cutting carbon emissions.
Nations will gather in Cancun beginning Nov. 29 for the
annual United Nations-led climate talks. The negotiations run
through Dec. 10 and come a year after world leaders including
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and U.S. President Barack Obama
failed to negotiate a climate treaty in Copenhagen.

20 percent target

China is taking measures on its own without a globally
binding treaty to reduce its carbon intensity, or the amount of
carbon it emit per unit of gross domestic product. Xie said the
country would be able to meet its goal of reducing its energy
intensity by 20 percent at the end of this year from 2005
levels. China aims to cut the amount of carbon it emits per unit
of economic output by 40 percent to 45 percent in 2020 from
Xie also said China was working on measures to have its
carbon emissions peak "at an early date."
Cap-and-trade puts a price on carbon by setting limits on
the amount of emissions that polluters can produce. Those
exceeding the limit must buy credits to offset their emissions,
while those that emit less can sell their balance in the carbon
The government may set emissions quotas for large
enterprises and a certain portion of them may be traded, Zhang
Junkuo, head of development strategy at the State Council's
development research center, said on Nov. 18.


Tokyo and New Zealand are the only carbon-trading markets
in the Asia-Pacific region. The European Union, which manages
the world's biggest cap-and-trade system, sent a mission to
China in July to study a pilot carbon-trading program.
A cap-and-trade market in China could be functioning as
early as 2013, Richard Sandor, who helped found London-based
Climate Exchange Plc in 2003, said at a climate-change forum in
Hong Kong this month.
China may spend about 5 trillion yuan ($750 billion) in the
next decade developing cleaner sources of energy to reduce
emissions from burning oil and coal, Jiang Bing, head of the
National Energy Administration's planning and development
department, said on July 20.

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--Michael Forsythe, Feifei Shen and Ying Wang in Beijing.

Editors: Baldave Singh, Ryan Woo.

To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story:
Michael Forsythe in Beijing at +86-10-6649-7580 or
Feifei Shen in Beijing at +86-10-6649-7527 or
Wang Ying in Beijing at +86-10-6649-7562 or

To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Reed Landberg at +44-20-7330-7862 or
Bill Austin at +81-3-3201-8952 or
Amit Prakash at +65-6212-1167 or