China to launch emissions trading pilot, July 18, 2011

China will launch a pilot carbon emissions trading project, and gradually set up a carbon emissions trading market, according to China's top climate official at a major international conference on Sunday.

China would accelerate building a standardized system for energy saving and environmental protection, and tighten regulation on identifying and labeling low-carbon products, Xie Zhenhua, vice-minister of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), spoke at the 2011 Eco-Forum Global in Guiyang, China's Guizhou Province.

The government was determined to straighten out prices of resource-based products, for example, further applying differential power pricing and punitive electricity tariffs, he added.

China would provide more incentives, such as preferential taxation policies, for companies to develop energy-conservation technologies and products, according to Xie.

China would also continue to boost financial support for green energy and manage growth in energy-intensive industries, said the vice-minister.

The capacity of the eco-economy exceeded 1.6 trillion yuan (231.9 billion U.S. dollars) during the period of 11th Five-Year Plan (2006-2010), which created jobs for 28 million people, Xie said.

Bertie Ahern, former prime minister of the Republic of Ireland, said at the forum that eco-innovation is the key to achieving a sustainable world.

Ahern on Saturday urged countries to turn more ideas into economic growth through products that reduce impact on the environment.

Climate change remains an ever-pressing global issue, he said, citing International Energy Agency data that suggests carbon emissions were at their highest in 2010 after a brief dip in 2009 due to the global financial crisis.

The EFG 2011, held annually in Guiyang since 2009, lasts two days and aims to promote a balance between developing modern industrialization and establishing ecological societies.