Chongqing will be the seventh region in China to launch carbon market

The southwestern city of Chongqing will be the seventh region in China to launch carbon trading when its market opens on June 13.

The market is the last of China’s planned pilot CO2 markets ahead of the launch of a nationwide scheme later this decade as the world’s biggest-emitting nation steps up efforts to slow down rapid emissions growth. “We are testing the market by asking for initial bids around 30 yuan ($4.80), Cao Zhu, a manager with the Chongqing Carbon Trade Centre, said.

In the other six markets, a number of pre-arranged trades have been announced at price levels with strong government backing, ranging from 21 yuan in Hebei province to 60 yuan in Guangdong.

The scheme will cap greenhouse gas emissions from 242 firms across all sectors of that have emitted at least 20,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year since 2008. Chongqing, whose economy grew 12.3 percent to $203 billion in 2013, is a major manufacturing hub of vehicles and consumer goods.

The government has issued a total of 125 million permits for the year 2013, and has said that while all permits will be handed out for free, the total amount will be reduced by 4.13 percent per year.

Sun Cuihua, a senior climate official at the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said earlier this week that the central government aims to begin pilot trading in a national emissions market in 2016 or 2017, making it fully operational in 2020.