Over 8.5m tonnes of carbon emissions allowances traded in Tianjin in H1
A coal-burning power plant. /CFP

A coal-burning power plant. /CFP

North China's Tianjin Municipality has seen transactions for a total of 8.56 million tonnes of carbon emissions allowances in the first half of 2021, with a turnover of 253 million yuan (about $39.5 million), according to the local carbon trade exchange.

The city's total trading volume accounted for 23 percent of all regional carbon markets in China during the period, remaining in second place across the country, according to the Tianjin Climate Exchange.

Last year alone, the city's carbon market handled approximately 29.09 million tonnes of carbon emissions allowances, secondary only to southern Guangdong Province.

China's carbon market started with a local pilot scheme in October 2011, with local pilot projects for carbon emissions trading launched in seven municipalities and provincial-level regions -- Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing, Guangdong and Hubei, and Shenzhen, which was among China's very first special economic zones in the 1980s.

Since 2013, the seven pilot carbon trading markets have started transactions, effectively promoting the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by enterprises in the participating provinces and cities. 

The cumulative trading volume of carbon market allowances in the seven trading markets reached 480 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by June 2021, with a turnover of approximately 11.4 billion yuan, according to China's Ministry of Ecology and Environment.

As of July 1, the 104 enterprises included in Tianjin's carbon emissions trading pilot program in eight industries – electricity and heating, steel, chemicals, petrochemicals, oil and gas exploitation, building materials, papermaking, and aviation – have completed the annual implementation of their 2020 carbon emissions trading contracts.

One of China's first comprehensive environmental energy trading institutions, the exchange serves as an international trading platform to promote energy conservation and emissions reduction through market-based means and financial innovation.

China's national carbon market started online trading on Friday morning, a significant step toward helping the country reduce its carbon footprint and meet emission targets. 

In the first phase, over 2,000 power companies emitting more than 4 billion tonnes per year have participated, making the Chinese carbon market the world's largest in terms of the volume of greenhouse gas emissions. 

(With input from Xinhua)

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