Australia and China's carbon cutting dialogue
As electricity prices rise, companies, organisations and households have been looking for ways to increase their energy efficiency and lower their bills.
Recently, Australia and China have been working together to find ways to combat the effects of environmental damage from carbon emissions, as well as rising electricity costs from electricity suppliers.
On March 27 the Australia-China Ministerial Dialogue on Climate Change was held between Greg Combet, Australia's minister for climate change, industry and innovation, and H.E. Xie Zhenhua, the vice chairman of China's national development and reform commission.
China is taking a keen interest in Australia's carbon pricing mechanism, as it plans to develop its own scheme in the coming years.
"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."
Mr Combet also looked into the future, suggesting he would like to work towards an Asia-Pacific carbon market that included major emerging economies such as China and South Korea.
He commented that this would provide more low-cost abatement opportunities and would reduce the possibility of carbon leakage.
Carbon leakage can sometimes happen when carbon emissions are reduced in one country through carbon cutting policies, yet countered by increased emissions from another country.
This can be because emissions policies in a certain nation may raise some local costs, giving another country a trading advantage.
An Asia-Pacific carbon market would reduce opportunities for this as it would widen the scope of carbon reduction policies.
Using Australia's Clean Energy Future model as a guide, later this year China plans to start pilot emissions trading schemes in some of its major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. Then after 2015 they will move into a national trading scheme.
Overall, China has pledged to reduce its carbon emissions per unit of GDP by 17 per cent from 2010 levels by 2015 with its goal increasing in the future.
Australia began its own carbon pricing system in July 2012, targeting the highest carbon emitters in Australia, most of which are large manufacturing and industry companies.
Australia's Renewable Energy Target is to have 20 per cent renewable energy by the year 2020.
Posted by Charlie Moore