China and UN to set up carbon exchange in Beijing

From Financial Times,

China and the United Nations are working to set up a carbon trading exchange in Beijing – a move that could establish the Chinese capital as an important centre for the multibillion-dollar global trade in carbon credits, according to the UN’s top official in China.

If successful, the exchange – which would be the first in the developing world – would compete with private sector carbon exchanges established in Europe and the US, and would help to open up further the lucrative Chinese market in carbon credits…

About $3bn in carbon credits from developing countries were traded in the first nine months of last year, according to the World Bank. The UN’s climate change secretariat said China was expected to account for 41 per cent of all carbon credits issued by the UN by 2012…

“I hope we can launch it this year – the sooner the better,” he said. Mr Malik said he hoped the exchange would also trade in special carbon credits that would be tied to the UN’s eight “millennium development goals”, which range from halving extreme poverty to universal primary education by 2015. While mixing the climate change goals with efforts to fight poverty, Aids and the loss of biodiversity will make the certification of the credits much more complicated, they may appeal to companies keen to polish their reputation for social responsibility…

The UNDP said most existing emission reduction projects in China offered “little or no impact on sustainable development”.

“Companies want very green credits,” said Kishan Khoday, UNDP Energy and Environment team leader…

If the project is tied to the utopian UN Millennium Development Goals (8 goals, 449 interventions, no accountability), it will be seriously weakened.

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