China's eighth environment exchange opens

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The first environment equities exchange in northeast China -- the eighth nationwide -- opened Wednesday.

The exchange in Dalian, a coastal city in Liaoning Province, provided a platform to help develop a low-carbon economy, said Zhang Jun, Deputy Mayor of Dalian.

It mainly served as an international market to trade environmental technologies, pollutant emissions, energy performance contracts and carbon dioxide emissions, based on the government-certified emission standards, said Wang Weidong, chairman of the exchange.

It was a platform for buyers and sellers with environmental trade needs,based purely on supply and demand as with a property rights exchange, and hopefully would see its first transactions within the month, said Wang.

Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Hebei, Yunnan, Shanxi and Hubei have operated similar exchanges since August 2008.

The international carbon emissions trade has witnessed a rapid growth over the past five years. It surged 31 percent year on year to 48 billion tonnes in 2008, seven times more than the volume in 2005.

However, the environment trade market in China was challenged by low public recognition and unformed pricing systems, said Dr. Zhang Xingwen, of Dalian University of Technology.

Environment exchanges would help China establish relevant policies and industry standards for a mature market and have a say in forming carbon trade pricing, he said.

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