Since the establishment of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992, the issue of climate change has become one of the most important topics of international concern. The core issue is carbon emissions. Reducing carbon emissions and developing a low-carbon economy have become important goals for China's economic and social development. Regardless of the analysis of technology and economic benefits, or the analysis of social and environmental benefits, China should establish its own carbon emission certification system as soon as possible. Not long ago, key technologies and demonstration projects for carbon emission verification and low-carbon product certification and approval in China's key industries were formally launched in Beijing, marking the beginning of China's carbon emissions certification work. Then, what are the current problems facing China's carbon emissions trading system? What changes will the establishment of the carbon trading system bring? What does this mean for the chemical industry? The China Chemical Daily reporter conducted an interview investigation.

Redefining product standards

According to the United States "U.S. Clean Energy Security Act," from 2020, the U.S. government will impose punitive carbon tariffs on foreign products that do not meet the carbon emission standards. Industry experts said that once countries begin to use the name “green” to implement trade protection, China’s export situation will be greatly affected by the collection of carbon tariffs. According to data from the China Quality Certification Center, currently, 14 countries and regions including the European Union, the United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea, and Australia have established carbon emission certification systems for 19 products, and more and more products have been marked with carbon. Labels, labels clearly indicate the product's carbon emissions, and China does not have a commodity that has a carbon label. All these facts send the same strong signal: Carbon emissions will become the new international standard for measuring product quality.

Behind carbon emissions, it is a measure of carbon emission standards and technologies. At present, carbon emission standards and technologies are basically controlled by developed countries. Since the 1990s, in the context of the market economy, the implementation of quotas and emissions trading has been the internationally adopted global “common emission reduction” means and measures, and the operational basis of “quotas and emissions trading” is “open, A fair and equitable carbon emission evaluation system. Whether it is the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Joint Implementation Mechanism (JI), the mandatory Emission Trading Scheme (ETS) of the European Union, and the international voluntary emission reduction mechanism. The Voluntary Carbon Standard (VCS) and the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) are all relatively complete certification systems based on carbon emission measurement standards and technologies. The carbon emission certification system provides countries with strong technical support for the effective control and management of greenhouse gas emissions, and is an important measure for implementing the national strategy for low-carbon economic development. It is promoting China's industrial upgrading, breaking green trade barriers, and developing carbon emission rights. Trading, as well as advocating green and low-carbon consumption, are all of great significance.

According to Yu Jie, the director of the China Quality Certification Center's products, the main body of China's economy is the secondary industry. The manufacturing industry occupies an absolute proportion, and the status quo of backward production technology has aggravated the high-carbon characteristics of China's manufactured products. Although under the general trend of international community emission reduction, China has constantly adjusted its own industrial structure and energy structure, but as a whole it has not established a unified domestic product carbon emission assessment system and low carbon product certification system, and relevant research is still in its infancy. At this stage, the technical foundation is weak. Yao Yao, deputy general manager of Sinochem Joint Certification Co., Ltd., said: "China's carbon emission certification and supervision are still at an early stage, management is still not in place, and the market is not standardized enough. Developed countries have already gone in terms of standards and technologies for carbon emissions measurement. At the forefront, if we do not catch up, we will be in a more passive and embarrassing position in global low-carbon competition."

Drive the industry green upgrade

Carbon emission certification, especially low-carbon product certification as a form of environmental certification, essentially has the characteristics of encouraging advancement, inhibiting backwardness, and promoting technological progress. Therefore, the establishment of a certification system will have a positive effect on the technological progress of low-carbon products. China has formulated the emission reduction target of “40% to 45% of GDP per unit of GDP in 2020 compared to 2005”, which means that in the next few years, China will phase out high energy consumption, high pollution, and high emission products. This will promote chemical companies to reduce their carbon emissions.

Industry experts said that in the process of carbon emission reduction, companies need to conduct carbon emissions accounting, and government management departments need to verify the company's carbon emissions, which are inseparable from carbon emissions certification technology. From the perspective of enterprises, low-carbon certification will increase the enthusiasm of enterprises in energy-saving emission reduction, pollution control and other green environmental protection technology innovation and application. As companies continue to increase their efforts in environmental management and investment, they are more conducive to a well-structured carbon emission market.

In addition, the low-carbon certification will also promote the formulation and revision of carbon emission standards, and change the missing and backward status of relevant low-carbon standards. Through the formulation and revision of standards, it will help improve the green competitiveness of related products in the international market. It will also increase the environmental protection threshold in China, avoid the import of low-standard products from abroad and affect the healthy and orderly development of related industries in China, and promote the industry. Green upgrade.

Break through green trade barriers

Linking the environment with trade and using economic means to solve environmental problems have increasingly become the trend of international trade, and this has often become the reason why some developed countries set green trade barriers. At present, 14 countries and regions around the world have established carbon emission certification systems for related products, but China's product carbon emission certification system has not yet been fully established. Industry experts said that in the absence of green trade barriers such as carbon tariffs, due to the lack of countermeasures, we can only “passively attack”. Even our country’s major export industries can only passively follow international rules and endure it. unfair treatment. Yu Jie told reporters: “Establishment of product carbon emissions assessment and establishment of a low-carbon product certification system is China's product breakthrough carbon emissions trade barriers, access to the international market pass, but also conducive to China to establish its own environmental protection system, to prevent foreign pollution serious production The project will be transferred to China to avoid the transfer of pollution."

In addition, in order to fight for the favorable status of climate change negotiations and enhance the credibility of China's carbon emissions assessment, it is also necessary to establish carbon emission verification technology systems, norms and standards. Yao Hao said that through the establishment of China's chemical industry carbon emission evaluation indicators, technical methods and verification models, can lay the foundation for responding to international climate change industry emission reduction policies. At the same time, it can improve the credibility of China's chemical industry's carbon emissions assessment and establish a carbon emission verification technology system for China's chemical industry. Through researching the carbon emission verification methods, modes and procedures of the chemical industry, forming the carbon emission technology method and operation mode of the chemical industry, and establishing a carbon emission verification system suitable for China’s national conditions and industry characteristics, it can be the authority of the carbon emission assessment mechanism of the chemical industry in China. Provide technical support and enhance the influence of the international chemical industry in the field of carbon emission certification and accreditation.

Provide green procurement criteria

In the 1980s, the wave of green consumption rose in the world. Green consumption represents a new consumption concept. Consumers prefer green products with low carbon and environmental protection when purchasing products. Green consumption will encourage enterprises to adopt more environmentally friendly production methods and produce green products that are beneficial to the environment, so as to achieve the purpose of emission reduction.

An important manifestation of green consumption is green procurement, in which buyers prefer to select products and services that comply with green standards. More and more countries have realized that using government procurement to regulate environmental protection and promote the formation of an environment-friendly society is a very effective way and means. However, due to the lack of effective carbon certification in China, individuals and social groups do not have a reference standard for green procurement, which limits the development of the green procurement market. Therefore, establishing a low-carbon certification system for products as soon as possible has an important guiding role for green procurement.

Yu Jie told reporters: "The use of low-carbon certification, product analysis and evaluation, to provide a yardstick for green procurement, not only help the expansion of the green procurement market, but also conducive to the development of green low-carbon products."

Technical support trading market

With the development of a low-carbon economy, the global carbon emissions will increase. According to the World Bank's forecast, by 2020, the global carbon emissions trading volume will reach 3.5 trillion US dollars, or it will surpass the oil market and become the largest energy market. Faced with the enormous opportunities for carbon emissions trading, the Chinese government clearly stated in the "Twelfth Five-Year Plan for Controlling Greenhouse Gas Emissions" that carbon emission trading trials should be conducted. At present, the China Petroleum and Chemical Industry Federation is carrying out relevant research work on carbon emissions verification. It is estimated that the 500 key carbon emission companies involved in the sub-industries such as ammonia, methanol, calcium carbide, and ethylene will have a total annual carbon emissions of approximately 4.5. Billion tons, accounting for 50% of the total carbon emissions from the chemical industry; the establishment of a carbon emission certification system is expected to provide a technically feasible and economically reasonable verification method for 50 million tons of carbon dioxide emission reduction and about 50 billion yuan of carbon emission reduction investment. Method, standard specification and technical basis. Once carbon emissions trading is implemented, China's carbon emissions trading market is largely self-evident.

Faced with China's huge carbon emissions trading market, we must establish a carbon emissions certification and verification system, which is an important prerequisite for the implementation of carbon trading. Unlike other transactions, an important prerequisite for carbon emissions trading is the setting of total carbon emissions and effective monitoring of emissions entities. For example, when the government implements a carbon emission trading program, it must measure the current emission level, determine the level of emissions that it plans to reduce, continuously monitor the emissions, and ensure that the polluters' emissions do not exceed the limit. Therefore, an indispensable link is the need to conduct effective monitoring and verification of the actual emissions of the emitting entity through a certain monitoring and verification system to ensure the reliability and credibility of the emission data.

Li Yongliang, director of the Energy Conservation and Low Carbon Development Division of the China Petrochemical Industry Development Department, said that at present, the National Development and Reform Commission has issued guidelines for the accounting and reporting of carbon emissions from chemical companies, providing reference for local carbon emissions trading pilots and establishing national unity for the future. The carbon market has made technical preparations. After the company completes the carbon emission report according to the carbon emission accounting and reporting guidelines, the relevant government departments need a set of verification methods and specifications to verify their reports. The key technologies and demonstration projects for carbon emissions verification in China's chemical industry, jointly undertaken by the China Petrochemical Federation and Beijing Sinochem Joint Certification Co., Ltd., have been listed in the National Science and Technology Title Program. This project will overcome key technologies for carbon emission certification of key chemical sub-industries. A relatively complete technical system has been established to provide important technical support for national emission reduction work.

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