China’s anti-pollution campaign is meeting resistance in Guangdong province, where many manufacturers, including cement and steel makers, are refusing to take part in a pilot carbon trading program, Reuters reported Monday.
More than 60 companies, or about a quarter of the intended participants in the emissions market, are holding back, calling the scheme unfair and too costly, according to the news agency.
Under the scheme, the local government is giving out for free 97 percent of the permits that companies will need to cover their emissions, but they must buy the other 3 percent in auctions at a minimum price of 60 yuan (US$9.60) each.
However, data from the China Emissions Exchange in Guangzhou showed that 64 of the 242 companies covered by the scheme still had not bought any carbon permits.
“There is no reason for companies to pay millions of yuan a year [for carbon permits] when environment and energy regulators already charge us other pollution fees,” an official at provincial government-owned iron and steel producer SGIS Songshan was quoted as saying.
Established last year, the emissions trading scheme covers six cities and provinces, and will be expanded to cover the entire nation by 2020.
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