Our Hong Kong Foundation “INSIGHT SERIES”
China Strives Towards Its 2030 & 2060 Carbon Dual Goals
(30 May 2023, Hong Kong) A pioneer of China’s low-carbon industry, Ms Susan Zhu Weiqing shared her views on the country’s year 2030 and 2060 carbon dual goals at a forum hosted by Our Hong Kong Foundation (OHKF).
The Founder and Chairman of the Board of Shanghai Treasure Carbon New Energy Environmental Protection Technology Ltd said combating climate change is a decisive step the world must take.
Ms Zhu said China’s national policy on carbon reduction creates immense opportunities for clean energy enterprises and the carbon assets market.
She said that from the global commitment to green energy and low carbon transition set by the Paris Agreement to China’s dual goal of reaching the peak of carbon dioxide emissions before 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality before 2060 as announced by President Xi Jinping in UN in September 2020, China has strengthened its effort in the form of both policy and implementation measures, to fulfil its environmental commitment.
Ms Zhu said the carbon dual goals covers the entire production stream of various enterprises that are at the centre of carbon reduction, including energy, industry, transportation, and construction. It requires the disclosure of a company’s carbon balance sheet and obtaining associated certifications.
“A clear technological framework for reaching carbon emission peak and carbon neutrality is therefore essential,” she said, adding that energy conservation, emission reduction, alternative energy and carbon-negative technologies could serve as four key elements of the framework.
She said that helping companies to design tailored carbon reduction solutions, explore targeted carbon assets, develop carbon credit benchmarking and carbon reduction certifications have constituted a substantial emerging market in the green era.
Ms Zhu also elaborated on the concept of Carbon Emission Allowance which is a yearly quota allocated by the Government or additional carbon emission quota obtained through trade, and also on the China Certified Emission Reduction (CCER) to explain China’s standardised carbon market.
“Enterprises are free to sell or buy additional CCER based on their enhanced operations or operational needs through the national carbon emission trading market. By leveraging market mechanisms, companies can offset carbon emissions with each other to effectively reach both the national goals and green development,” she explained.
Expressing confidence about China’s carbon market, Ms Zhu noted that the futures and derivatives financial products relating to carbon trade are gradually opening up, and new measures and trading protocol are being developed.
“It is estimated that when China’s carbon market is unified, its spot market could reach RMB 300 billion and will climb to a trillion level. It will be the largest carbon market in the world," she said.
Also at the forum, GBA Carbon Neutrality Association Founding President Mr Dennis Wu hosted a dialogue session with Ms Zhu at which a diverse range of issues were raised and discussed. Ms Zhu said Hong Kong could embrace the opportunities of the huge carbon market as China’s carbon trading is at an emerging stage.
“Hong Kong as an international financial centre with a well-established network and as a long-standing Super-Connector between the Mainland and the global market, it has all the right conditions to develop carbon-related financial products, including futures and derivatives,” she said.
She added that recent efforts by the HKSAR Government in constructing the international carbon market platform, “CORE CLIMATE”, to encourage investors to participate in carbon trading has drawn much positive feedback in the city.
Addressing the forum in an opening speech, OHKF President Dr Jane Lee noted that “The Outline Development Plan for the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area” offers tremendous support to Hong Kong to become the Centre for Green Finance.
“OHKF endeavors to promote the development of the region’s green finance and financial innovation, from advocating green bonds to exploring the region’s role in the GBA’s carbon market,” she said.