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Australia and China further carbon cutting collaboration

10th Apr 2013

Australia and China have been engaging in an increasing amount of dialogue concerning our planet's environmental welfare, carbon pricing mechanisms and renewable energy efforts.

China has been increasingly interested in changing their negative environmental record, with a number of large scale solar power projects, aiming to grow its solar power capacity as part of its latest Five Year Plan.

Today (April 10), prime minister Julia Gillard announced during a visit to Beijing that Australia and China have made new agreements which are set to strengthen collaborations on a carbon market.

This development builds on last month's carbon cutting dialogue held between Australia's minister for climate change, industry and innovation Greg Combet, and vice chairman of China's national development and reform commission.

This previous meeting was to discuss how China can emulate Australia's carbon pricing mechanism in order to reduce their high levels of carbon emissions and pollution.

"With today’s announcement, we have agreed to assist China develop methodologies to measure and report emissions from the oil and gas sector, petroleum refineries, coal production and the coking sector," said Mr Combet.

Australia has been assisting China through joint research, informational and technical workshops on the design and implementation of emissions trading schemes and collaboration on economic modelling.

"In addition to our annual Ministerial Dialogue on Climate Change, which has been an important component of the bilateral relationship since 2009, with today's announcement we have agreed that our emission trading experts will meet regularly to support development of China’s carbon market," said Mr Combet.

Mr Combet pointed out areas which will take on a particular importance, such as China's ability to measure, report and review its greenhouse gas emissions. Currently, this is an area in need of improvement, and Australia will support China in ways to achieve this.

Practical cooperation projects, the sharing of information and experiences, as well as a number of other measures will be taken on by Australia.

China plans to launch a pilot emissions trading scheme in the city of Shenzhen on June 17 this year, encompassing approximately 600 companies with a high level of collective emissions - there were 31.7 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emitted by them in 2010.

China's overall goal is to reduce its carbon emissions by 17 per cent of 2010 levels by 2015, and by 40-45 per cent below 2005 levels by 2020.

Posted by Bob Dawson

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