China says no way to set the same carbon price as EU now


It is now impossible to ask China to set the same carbon price as the EU, as the two sides' carbon prices were set under different development conditions and emission goals, said a Chinese climate official, who also criticized EU's new carbon tariff as "unscientific, irrational and unfair."

"A carbon price is determined by many factors, including the cost of reducing emission, which largely includes labor costs. The per capita income gap between China and the EU, as well as the difference in carbon prices, reflect China's acceptance of its emission reduction costs and that China's carton price is reasonable," said Xu Huaqing, head of the National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation, at the World Peace Forum on July 1.

Xu emphasized that it is no way to ask China to set the same carbon price as the EU now, and reaching such a goal will require time.

According to Global Times, The EU has always been pressuring China on the carbon price and the two sides have argued over an EU-proposed carbon tariff. The carbon price in China's national carbon market has been largely hovering around 55 yuan ($7.72) per ton of CO2 since the start of this year, while the average price in the EU's carbon market is about 80 euros ($85.71).

Xu also criticized the EU's proposed Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) as "unscientific, unfair and irrational." He said that China's carbon market has become a strong and effective policy tool in restraining greenhouse gas emissions and achieving the China’s goal of reaching peak CO2 emissions by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060.

He pointed out that carbon leakage is the major concern of the CBAM, which is not aligned with China's ideas behind operating a carbon market.

The EU's own carbon market also has many shortcomings, which cannot be transferred to developing countries, Xu noted.

After nearly two years of negotiations, the CBAM finally completed its legislative process in May this year, under which, the aim of Europe's new carbon border tax is to level the playing field for carbon-intensive goods imported into EU countries. 

In October 2022, Li Gao, head of the department of climate change at China's Ministry of Ecology and Environment, criticized the EU's move to impose carbon tariffs as means to increase the difficulty for China to export certain products into EU. 

China object to any form of trade or technological barrier established in the name of climate change, Li said. 

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