China’s deferred carbon trading system will start operating in February, the environment ministry has said, as the world’s main polluter takes standings towards decarbonising its economy by 2060.
The ministry issued rules on Tuesday permitting regional governments to set pollution caps for big power industries for the very first time.
Firms can purchase the right to pollute from others who have a lower carbon footprint, but the plan is likely to drive down total emissions by turning it more costly to do so.
“This is one of the most exciting developments for the world’s largest carbon market in the recent rollercoaster year,” said Zhang Jianyu, vice president of the Environmental Defence Fund China, which has referred with the government on emissions trading.
However, 60% of power in China is still based on coal despite striving renewable energy targets, and experts advise the powerful coal lobby will be demanding hard for constructive carbon caps.
Under the new guidelines, more than 2,200 firms that release over 26,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases per year can start exchanging their emission quotas from Feb 1.
China’s countrywide system is likely to conceal that of the European Union to become the world’s largest emissions trading scheme (ETS).
Beijing has promised to peak emissions before 2030 and become carbon neutral 30 years later. But it turned back preliminary plans to limit emissions from seven other industries including aviation, steel and petrochemical manufacturing.
“When Europe started its exchange scheme in 2005, there were matters in the first phase where members were kind of conceding into lobbying pressure,” said Li Shuo from Greenpeace China.
China’s greenhouse gas emissions in 2019 were projected at 13.92 billion tonnes – about 29% of the world’s total associated with global warming.
Once fully effective, the ETS will cover about a third of China’s national emissions, according to the International Carbon Action Partnership.
However, it is uncertain whether China will comprise businesses outside the power sector in the system.
If global warming is happening, our question is how can the Earth’s atmosphere be getting colder?
In some ways, this query repeats another by climate change skeptics: If global warming is happening, why is it colder in some places than earlier years? For one thing, weather and seasons are still occurring.
Equally, colder weather in some areas is contradicted with hotter temperatures in other places, and research suggests that global warming might be discharging surrounded cold air.
Similarly, even as the lower atmosphere is warming, a new study revealed that the Earth’s upper atmosphere is cooling because of rising carbon dioxide levels and variations in the magnetic field.
“The rise in CO2 concentration is the foremost cause of cooling in the upper atmosphere, while effects of magnetic field changes also play a significant role near the poles, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere,” remarked Ingrid Cnossen, a fellow at the British Antarctic Survey and author of the study.
While the troposphere, the layer contiguous to the Earth, cools as you go upper, the next level — the stratosphere — truly warms as you get nearer to the sun.
Even upper layers, including the mesosphere and thermosphere, are mostly cold, but the research found that temperatures have been falling even further in all three layers.
It is not clear whether global warming, which impacts the troposphere, is behind the cooling of upper layers, Cnossen said, but these effects of climate change could have stern results on everything from melting glaciers to humans’ ability to fly.
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