China and Japan experts discuss cap and trade schemes at debut Hong Kong workshop

10 April 2013

HONG KONG: The Climate Group hosted a workshop in Hong Kong on March 28, bringing together government, academic and cap and trade experts from China and Japan to discuss experiences of implementing such systems.

The participation of experts from China’s National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development, Tsinghua University, and international consultants, provided additional policy and technical insights to the workshop’s focus themes. 

The workshop was the first in the City Carbon Portal series, a program that brings together city cap and trade practitioners to share experiences towards implementing and improving systems.

The workshop explored:

  • How to implement good design and operation in city cap and trade systems.
  • Measuring real performance impact on end-use efficiency, especially in buildings.
  • Identifying green growth investment and social benefits enabled by cap and trade.
  • Evaluating scenarios to replicate and scale up successful market models

Dr. Jiang Kejun of the NDRC’s Energy Research Institute highlighted key macro trends in China’s economy that suggest a peaking of GHG emissions is not only achievable, but is likely to occur around 2020. Dr. Jiang said this is due to the effects of a plateau in major industrial material outputs combined with continued reductions in energy intensity – an ambitious goal that shows China’s Government is still committed to staying within 2 degrees Celsius climate change.

Dr. Jiang stressed that we must accelerate the shift to cleaner energy and link CCERs to the cap-and-trade pilot programs to speed up GHG reductions. In addition, he said that investing in a 450 parts per million (ppm) CO2 future is expected to cost the Chinese economy less than 5% of its GDP up to 2100. Future challenges include the role of water supply in energy production, as well as the national regulation of power prices and its effects on energy intensive industries like cement, when a national ETS is started.

The workshop was supported by the new Governor of Tokyo, Naoki Inose, who delivered a video address to the participants. In an afternoon keynote presentation, Ms Zhang Xiaoling of MoHURD’s Center of Energy Efficiency in Buildings identified opportunities for energy savings in China’s annual construction of 2 billion square meters of new floor space - about 40% of global demand - together with the urgent need to retrofit over 3 billion square meters of old residential premises.

Ms. Zhang also estimated that residential retrofits in Northern China alone could deliver almost 100 megatons of CO2 reduction by preventing winter heating losses while improving comfort and indoor air quality. China presently has 600 million residents without winter heating and meeting this massive latent demand efficiently will require widespread improvement in building thermal performance.

Gathered experts at the workshop then went on to cover key topics such as the role of CCS in China, successful ETS pilots and Tokyo's cap and trade experiences, ending on next steps for the program.

Eric Walker, Deputy Director, Integrated Solutions, Greater China, The Climate Group, said: “With the launch of China’s Regional ETS Pilot Programs in seven cities and provinces this year, coupled with Tokyo’s recent announcement of good second-year results from its cap-and-trade program, it was appropriate to bring these groups together to harness their low carbon leadership. The workshop has set a great start for the City Carbon Portal program, the work of which will boost our clean revolution work in Greater China.”

The Climate Group is grateful to the British Consulate-General Hong Kong who provided a grant as our Convening Partner to organize the Workshop. We would also like to thank CLP Holdings Limited, our Supporting Sponsor, who provided additional funding support.

See an agenda of the event for a full list of attending panelists and speakers.

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