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China moving on carbon?

Written By: - Date published: 11:04 am, May 26th, 2013 - 24 comments
Categories: climate change, ETS, International, leadership - Tags: , , , ,

A while back I wrote a post noting China’s advances in green technology. It finished by expressing the hope that China would move on carbon emissions. Maybe I am going to see my wish granted.

China agrees to impose carbon targets by 2016

Beijing’s thaw over greenhouse gases seen as major step in battling climate change

The battle against global warming has received a transformational boost after China, the world’s biggest producer of carbon dioxide, proposed to set a cap on its greenhouse gas emissions for the first time.

Under the proposal China, which is responsible for a quarter of the world’s carbon emissions, would put a ceiling on greenhouse gas emissions from 2016, in a bid to curb what most scientists agree is the main cause of climate change.

It marks a dramatic change in China’s approach to climate change that experts say will make countries around the world more likely to agree to stringent cuts to their carbon emissions in a co-ordinated effort to tackle global warming.

China unveils details of pilot carbon-trading programme

Nation’s first trading scheme in the southern city of Shenzhen will cover 638 companies when it begins next month

China has unveiled details of its first pilot carbon-trading programme, which will begin next month in the southern city of Shenzhen.

The trading scheme will cover 638 companies responsible for 38% of the city’s total emissions, the Shenzhen branch of the powerful National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) announced on Wednesday. The scheme will eventually expand to include transportation, manufacturing and construction companies.

Shenzhen is one of seven designated areas in which the central government plans to roll out experimental carbon trading programmes before 2014.

China is the world’s biggest carbon emitter and burns almost as much coal as the rest of the world’s countries combined. …

On Monday, the Chinese newspaper 21st Century Business Herald reported that the NDRC has discussed implementing a national system to control the intensity and volume of carbon emissions by 2020. The agency expects China to reach its carbon emissions peak by 2025, five years earlier than many recent estimates, according to unnamed sources quoted in the article.

Too many “Western” countries use lack of action from big emitters (China, India, Brazil) as an excuse for doing nothing. Well that excuse just got a whole lot thinner. And the pressure on India and Brazil just stepped up.

24 comments on “China moving on carbon? ”

  1. Bill 1

    The Copenhagen Accord, signed by westerns governments in 2009 states the following as a commitment

    To hold the increase in global temperature below 2 degrees Celsius, and take action to meet this objective consistent with science and on the basis of equity

    And they’ve blown the 2 degrees component of the commitment. They don’t enact policy consistent with science. And they gave the ‘long finger’ to equity.

    Meanwhile, if China peaks in 2025 and drops carbon use like a hot potato then we might avoid some of the very worst of some very bad shit. But I cannot see how carbon trading can bring about the massive reductions in carbon emissions that are required. A carbon tax might, but not trading.

    Meanwhile, lets not lose sight of the the real cause of what’s coming – the arse rag bastards within western governments indulged in some type of game theory with the whole thing. And since game theory is strangely hermetically sealed and misses real world consequences…

    edit. Can’t get through to english translations of your links Anthony.

  2. ghostrider888 2

    Yep, China, out of necessities leads step in the correct direction.Cap, yes, Trading, still.
    While ‘carbon intensity’ reduced, emissions still permitted to increase.

    meanwhile the West drags the chain, with U.S intentions for energy self-sufficiency relying heavily on Shale.

    • Poission 2.1

      Chinas emissions exceed that of the EU and the US combined.The US emissions are now down to the 1994 levels so reliance on defacto tax regimes (privatized schemes such as emission trading run by the same clowns ie the financial markets) is not a necessary mechanism for emission mitigation.

      • ghostrider888 2.1.1

        hence, “Trading, still”, “emissions still permitted to increase”. while ETS have been demonstrated to not be sufficient, or even necessary; as you are aware,just another ‘financial market product’.

      • Colonial Viper 2.1.2

        Poisson.

        I once saw some information which said that since the start of the 20th century, the USA had released 4x or 5x more carbon than the next nearest country.

        In other words, the USA simply burnt masses of their carbon between 1900 and 2000, scott free.

        • Poission 2.1.2.1

          That is the gross figure,and does not take into account the sinks.For instance there is now more forest area in the eastern parts then there was in the 17 th and 18th centuries accountability for land use change was a large constraint on the KP

          The significance and importance of the carbon sinks9 on a regional level) is poorly understood and is why the national academies asked for improved knowledge.

          http://www.scj.go.jp/ja/info/kohyo/pdf/kohyo-22-s3.pdf

  3. cindy 3

    Unfortunately The Independent story waaay over-egged what was ONE comment by an official close to the NDRC to ONE Chinese journalist, about a month ago. No announcement, nothing in writing and nothing that anybody (press, NGO’s etc) have been able to confirm.

    You’ll note the Independent story only had one line about China moving to a carbon target, then the rest of the story was reaction. Indeed, the Independent didn’t verify the story at all – just quoted the one Chinese media story.

    This from a Chinese NGO:
    “I spoke with the Chinese reporter who wrote the original article. I agree with what my colleagues from Chinese NGOs have written about not jumping to conclusions. The English reports about the Chinese article are much more definite-sounding than the original Chinese, which quotes a source “close” to the NDRC and a local DRC official who attended a climate change working group meeting. Still, NDRC is researching what a total GHG cap and peak could be, and whether emissions could peak in 2025, in part because, as they have said, they want to develop a national carbon trading system in the 13th FYP. There is no policy change right now, only internal discussion and consideration of options.”

    So while China might be looking for a carbon cap, but there’s absolutely nothing in concrete as yet. I know everyone wants this to happen, but this is very much a case of “let not the truth stand in the way of a good story.”

    So let’s not quote this as fact, yet.

    The emissions trading scheme, on the other hand, is a different story. That’s been announced and confirmed.

  4. infused 4

    It’s not an excuse. There is no point. Why fuck up our country when our carbon footprint is so small, and will have no impact what-so-ever.

    Once China starts, there is an actual argument for it.

    • RedLogix 4.1

      The answer to that you know already. Every nation, every individual for that matter, has an obligation to act regardless of of size.

    • Naturesong 4.2

      Or we could move now.

      Develop the practice and processes required to implement carbon neutrality, and then get rich teaching the rest of the world doing it.
      New Zealand being such a small country with a small manufacturing industry it is a lot easier for us to figure out than it is for most countries.

      Besides, wouldn’t it be nice to be a world leader again?
      Oh, and rescue the 100% pure brand that is worth billions every year.

      • weka 4.2.1

        World leaders… remember going Nuclear Free? Opposing South African apartheid?

        Don’t know about 100% pure brand though, it’s not worth anything if it’s based on importing tourists and exporting meat/dairy – transport is one of the highest contributers to CC.

    • weka 4.3


      It’s not an excuse. There is no point. Why fuck up our country when our carbon footprint is so small, and will have no impact what-so-ever.

      Once China starts, there is an actual argument for it.

      It’s not fucking up our country, it’s preparing for a low carbon world while we still have the resources to do that, rather than waiting until the rest of the world is fucked and we are forced into it when we no longer have any leeway.

      Plus, our carbon footprint isn’t small. Per head of population, which is where it counts, we are as bad as any other Western nation.

      • infused 4.3.1

        There isn’t going to be a low carborn world for many, many, many years…

        Per head doesn’t matter. It’s what the country as a whole is producing. Per head is just some artificial measurement that means jack shit.

    • Murray Olsen 4.4

      Why is it that National supporters actually think our nation is inferior to every other English speaking one on the planet, and we can’t even blow our noses without Washington handing us the tissue? If you think we’re so inferior, what are you doing still here?

      We’re as good as anyone else and we can be world leaders with the environment, just as we were with nuclear ships, the nucleus, and climbing Everest. Tories are probably still sending telegrams of apology to mother England for that colonial upstart Hillary, especially after he drove his tractor to the South Pole.

      • ghostrider888 4.4.1

        according to Trade Expert Charles Finny, NZ’s relationship with the U.S “is as good as it is likely to get”; hopefully we continue to part ways.

  5. ghostrider888 5

    The Tolerance for a lower growth rate from The Party in China
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-05-26/xi-joins-li-in-indicating-china-tolerance-for-slower-growth-rate.html
    -releasing to the ‘market’
    -suspended coal-fired power generation in Inner Mongolia
    -increasing environmental concerns and demonstrations / protests by the people.

  6. Rich the other 6

    A message for the green dreamers and fools.
    Reality check.
    They may be moving but its onwards and upwards.
    The mining boom may be slowing in Australia but this may be a simple case of manipulation by China , the worlds biggest consumer of resources , havn’t they created a golden opportunity for themselves, what a great time to buy.

    ((“CHINA is backing up its status as the world’s biggest consumer of metals by becoming the lead financier to new Australian mines, with more than $US1.5 billion ($1.55bn) now being committed to projects Beijing wants to see developed to ensure a diverse and long-term supply of metals vital to that nation’s on going industrialisation and urbanisation.

    While traditional financiers for Australian projects in Europe and the US have retreated from the sector, and equity markets have been closed off as a source of ready funding, China’s network of state-controlled development banks, mining companies and engineering and construction groups are taking up the slack.”))

    The green/labour fools are bury their heads in the sand and continue to OPPOSE mining. China will soon return to top gear and there use of resources will sky rocket.
    China is also heavily investing in the Canadian COAL sector , they are CERTAINLY moving CARBON.

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