China's top economic planner confirmed on Tuesday that it has approved a pilot greenhouse gas emission rights trading scheme in seven provincial regions in an effort to encourage carbon emission reductions.
The municipalities and provinces given the green-light include Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing, Shenzhen, Hubei and Guangdong, an official with the National Development and Reform Commission told Xinhua under the condition of anonymity.
However, the official refused to elaborate on the pilot scheme. Details such as how the scheme will work and how long it will last are not available.
According to a statement posted on the official website of the Chongqing municipal government (www.cq.gov.cn), the pilot program is an important means for realizing China's emission reduction targets, while minimizing costs.
Compared to levels in 2005, a total reduction of 1.74 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions occurred from 2006 to 2010 as the power sector adopted measures to reduce coal consumption while raising the efficiency of the use of electricity, according to a report on the sector's emission reduction released Tuesday.
In 2010, the country saw 1.6 million fewer tonnes of smoke emissions from electricity-generating utilities, marking a 31.9 percent reduction from 2009, said the report.
Additionally, sulfur dioxide emissions were reduced by 29 percent in 2010 compared with 2005 levels.
By 2020, the country has pledged to reduce carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 40 to 45 percent compared to 2005 levels.
According to a white paper China issued Tuesday, the government will prioritize global climate change during its 12th Five-Year Plan period (2011-2015).