China to launch carbon trading scheme by mid-June

China to launch carbon trading scheme by mid-June

China's Shenzhen city has become the first in the country to set a launch date for a new carbon emissions trading pilot scheme, as part of a package of measures designed to curb emissions from energy-intensive industries.

According to local reports, Shenzhen, a major city in the south of southern China's Guangdong Province, will launch its carbon trading platform on June 17 this year.

The world's biggest producer of carbon dioxide (CO2) is set to launch seven pilot emissions trading schemes in cities and provinces from this year, covering at least 700 million tons of annual CO2 emissions.

The pilots are expected to create the second-largest emissions trading scheme in the world after the European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS), and officials are hoping that they will provide the foundations for a nationwide system to be introduced in 2015-2016.

Shenzhen mayor Qin Xu confirmed the date of the launch late last week, adding that the scheme will initially cover 635 companies, which together emitted 38 percent of the city's total greenhouse gases in 2010.

However, it remains unclear if Shenzhen will be the first of the seven pilot areas to launch cap-and-trade. Beijing and Shanghai may also start their carbon markets in June although they have yet to set launch dates.

This article is reprtinted with permission from BusinessGreen. 

Photograph of the Chinese city of Shenzhen provided by fuyu liu via Shutterstock.