Largest market will be accessible to 1,700 companies, 3.3b metric tonsChina started the world's largest carbon trading system on Tuesday, sending strong signals that it plans to use the market as a key policy tool to curb emissions and also is keeping its Paris Agreement commitments.The nationwide carbon market, which is built upon seven pilot programs implemented since 2013, will be open only to the power generation sector during its early phase, according to the National Development and Reform Commission.Still, it is expected to exceed the European Union's market, with more than 1,700 power generation enterprises producing 3.3 billion metric tons of carbon expected to be involved, according to the commission.The power sector accounts for about one-third of China's carbon dioxide emissions.Zhang Yong, vice-minister of the commission, said the introduction of the nationwide market shows China is delivering on its Paris Agreement promises.China pledged to peak carbon emissions by the end of 2030 in the Paris pact sealed in 2015.Putting a price on carbon will propel market players to further cut carbon emissions, as they have to consider those costs in making future investment and production decisions, according to Jiang Zhaoli, deputy director of the commission's Department of Climate Change.China will not introduce financial products such as carbon futures in the early stage as some other countries did because speculative behavior will do more harm than good in encouraging actual carbon reduction, according to Jiang.The initial benchmark for market inclusion is set at 26,000 metric tons of carbon or above a year.Firms involved that plan to emit more carbon should reduce emissions or buy spare credits from other companies, and those with extra allowances can sell or keep them for future use.While creating the market is a milestone, much needs to be done to make it a success in coming years, experts said.Transparency and public participation will be crucial for it to be an important incentive for carbon reduction, according to Femke de Jong, policy director of Carbon Market Watch.Liu Shuang, director of the Low Carbon Economic Growth Program with the Energy Foundation China, said improvements will be needed for a stronger legal basis, a more stringent cap and better allocation."For immediate next steps, it is essential for regulators to set up a reviewing mechanism to carefully monitor operational progress and collect data in a timely way to inform the design and decision-making for the next phases," she said.The government has set a three-year road map for gradually improving the framework before allowing real transactions. Real transactions are expected to take place in 2020. 24 wristbands
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BEIJING - President Xi Jinping and other senior leaders Saturday paid tribute and laid floral baskets to the Monument to the People's Heroes at Tian'anmen Square. Xi, also general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission, joined representatives of all walks of life to mark the country's fourth Martyrs' Day, on the eve of National Day. Other members of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee Li Keqiang, Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan and Zhang Gaoli, also attended. A military band played trumpets to commemorate the martyrs before the ceremony started. At 10 a.m., participants sang the national anthem, and then bowed their heads in silent tribute to those who devoted their lives to the liberation of the Chinese people, the establishment and development of People's Republic of China, which was founded in 1949. Following a patriotic song sung by children, 18 honor guards laid nine sets of flowers in front of the monument. Baskets were presented in the names of the CPC Central Committee, China's top legislature, the State Council, the top political advisory body, the Central Military Commission, All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, non-communist party and non-party individuals, mass organizations, veterans, senior cadres and the families of martyrs, as well as China's Young Pioneers organization. President Xi straightened red ribbons on the baskets and led a group of senior officials in a walk around the monument to pay tribute. Children and other attendees followed them and laid bouquets of flowers at the foot of the monument. The ceremony was presided over by Cai Qi, secretary of the Beijing Municipal Committee of the CPC. It is estimated that China has about 20 million martyrs. China's top legislature approved Sept. 30 as Martyrs' Day in 2014 to commemorate those who lost their lives for national independence and prosperity.
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