Australia and China agree to work together on carbon markets

(Nanowerk News) The Australia-China Ministerial Dialogue on Climate Change was held today in Sydney, led by Greg Combet, the Australian Minister for Climate Change, Industry and Innovation, and H.E. Xie Zhenhua, the Vice Chairman of China's National Development and Reform Commission.
As part of the annual dialogue, both the Minister and the Vice Chairman took part in the Australia China Climate Change Forum at the University of New South Wales.
"Australia has been working very closely with China on the development of its pilot and national emissions trading schemes over the past two years," Mr Combet said.
"China's national carbon market plans, which Vice Chairman Xie outlined this morning, are comprehensive and will be a very important development for the global carbon market. Once up and running, it will be the largest emissions trading scheme in the world."
As recently stated by World Bank Vice President of Sustainable Development Rachel Kyte: "China is determined to pursue low-carbon development and is embracing the market as the most efficient way to do so."
China is closely monitoring the implementation of Australia's emissions trading scheme and is looking at our Clean Energy Future package to inform the development of its domestic policy.
As the highest per-capita emitter in the developed world, Australia has a responsibility to reduce its emissions and to play a strong role in global efforts to tackle climate change, including through bilateral initiatives with key trading partners like China.
"In the future, we would like to work towards the development of an Asia-Pacific carbon market including major emerging economies like China and South Korea," Mr Combet said.
"This would expand coverage of the carbon market, provide more low-cost abatement opportunities and reduce the possibility of carbon leakage."
"China's openness to the possibility of linking with other emissions trading schemes around the world is further evidence of growing international cooperation on climate change.
"It will build further momentum towards establishing a robust international carbon market."
"Australia looks forward to continuing to share its experience in the design and implementation of Australia's emission trading scheme with our counterparts in China."
Later this year, China - Australia's largest trading partner - will commence pilot emissions trading schemes in a number of its provinces and major cities. It aims to move to a national emissions trading scheme after 2015.
China presented its plan for developing and implementing a national emissions trading scheme to the World Bank Partnership for Market Readiness (PMR) earlier this month.
The PMR - comprising 28 countries including Australia, China, India, Brazil, South Africa, Japan and the US - supports climate change mitigation efforts by helping countries develop and implement market-based approaches to reducing carbon emissions.
China has pledged to reduce its carbon emissions per unit of GDP by 17 per cent from 2010 levels by 2015 and by 40 to 45 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020.
Source: Government of Australia
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