China's ETS takes off

China's first pilot carbon trading scheme is likely to launch today. While it is far from perfect it seems even communists can appreciate the limitations of direct regulatory actions.

All going well Chinese officials are expected to hold a ceremony in Shenzhen to kick off the first of China’s pilot carbon trading schemes today. Shenzhen will soon be joined by additional trading schemes in six other provinces that in total will cover around 700 million tonnes of CO2 emissions (Australia’s scheme covers around 380 million tonnes) or 7 per cent of China’s overall emissions.

For some time, China has been the rest of the world’s great big wonderful excuse to do nothing on climate change. Why should Australia/US/Canada etc do anything when China is adding a coal power plant every week, the saying goes.

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