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Global carbon trading 'near'

By Lan Lan (China Daily)

07:51, October 29, 2012

A global platform for carbon trading may be in place this decade, an official at one of the world's major environmental think tanks said.

China's emissions trading system, which is likely to be the world's second-largest carbon market by 2015, may be a major player if it is connected to the proposed world system, said Andrew Steer, president of the World Resources Institute.

The institute in Washington is a non-partisan organization that promotes policies to protect the global environment.

China has seven pilot emission trading projects, including those in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong province.

"The idea of piloting is good; the government wants to look around and see which plan is most suitable and then use that nationally," Steer said.

Steer used to be the World Bank special envoy for climate change before joining the institute in August and is optimistic about a global carbon market.

Negotiators from 200 nations and regions agreed to work toward a global treaty taking effect in 2020 at the United Nations' climate change conference in South Africa in 2011.

"The global agreement is to be reached in 2015 and will become effective in 2020, as part of that global deal, carbon trading would be allowed," Steer said.

Even if this does not work out, countries and regions will still be able to trade with each other, Steer said.

Europe, China, Japan, South Korea, South Africa and Australia could trade with each other and have a credible, working market, even if some countries, like the United States, decide not to join the mechanism.

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