China’s farmers can now earn money with ‘carbon tickets’


China launched the country’s first carbon emission trading platform for agriculture sector on May 5 as part of the government’s efforts to hit carbon emission peak before 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.

On this occasion, the country’s first agricultural “carbon tickets” were issued, and the first agricultural carbon quota trading projects were launched.

The agricultural carbon quota involves the process of cutting carbon emissions through measures like carbon farming and reforestation. The amount of the tickets is calculated depending on the intensity of greenhouse gases reduced.

As stated by a stock exchange official, the new mechanism allows the agricultural carbon quotas gained through agricultural or reforestation activities to transfer for money, which by nature contribute to the reduction of carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases, while opening up a new route for farmers to earn extra profits.

The villages of Baijiaosi and Junying, abundant in agricultural resources, were chosen to be the pilot villages for the project. The two villages, with 517 hectares of tea and 507 hectares of woodland, have been granted 3,357 tonnes of agricultural carbon tickets issued in China.

The Yinlu food group, also based in Xiamen, has been put into touch with the villages thanks to the platform. The company has purchased the carbon tickets and therefore acquired additional carbon allowances of 3,357 tonnes to cover its emissions over the next two years.

China established its national emissions trading scheme (ETS) in 2021, requiring more than 2,000 large emitters in the power sector to account for their emissions in 2019 and 2020. The current scope of the ETS encompasses annual emissions of nearly 4.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, or around 40% of China’s total.

Unlike similar schemes in other regions, such as the European Union, China’s issuance of carbon allowances is based on emissions intensity rather than an absolute cap.

In 2021, the ETS traded 412.05 million tonnes of allowances, including those on regional pilot schemes and domestic offsets called as CCERs.

China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) revealed in March that four carbon data verification agencies are suspected of data fraud in their carbon emission reports, with one accused of advising clients to provide fake coal samples and falsifying test results, and the remaining three accused of tampering with test reports or writing inaccurate conclusions.

Since the fraudulent reporting of carbon emissions can be a potential threat to the country’s climate goals, the MEE then said in April that it is adopting a zero-tolerance policy on such infringement.

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