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23 May 2013: China Poised to Launch
Much-Anticipated Carbon-Trading Project

China has revealed details of a carbon cap-and-trade pilot project that will be launched next month, a much-anticipated market attempt to rein in carbon dioxide emissions by the world’s biggest emitter. The first phase of the program, which will be implemented in the southern city of Shenzhen, will cover 638 companies that produce 38 percent of the city’s carbon emissions, according to the city branch of the government’s National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC). The system will impose caps on the companies’ CO2 emissions and establish a market for the buying and selling of emissions permits. Eventually, the program will be expanded to include the transportation, manufacturing, and construction sectors, the Guardian reports. By 2014, the experimental scheme will be expanded into six other designated cities and provinces, including Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing, and the provinces of Hubei and Guangdong. Earlier this week, the Chinese newspaper 21st Century Business Herald reported that the NDRC is contemplating a nationwide system to control CO2 emissions by 2020. China, which uses nearly half of the world’s coal, saw its coal consumption increase by 9 percent last year. The carbon-trading experiment comes as the government attempts to reduce historic levels of air pollution that have triggered anger in some parts of the country.

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