A laborer is seen working at a deisel powered crusher infont of a wind turbine. This is a 17.5 MW wind project, consisting of eighteen wind farm sites in the Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Karnataka. The eighteen sites have been bundled together for the purposes of carbon finance. The turbines displace electricity from the National Grid, which is dominated by coal and oil fired generation. Caption & photo: Land Rover Our Planet/Creative Commons.
While US Representatives vote to handcuff the EPA when it comes to regulating carbon emissions and even formally deny the existence of climate change altogether, India and China both more forward with plans to price carbon.
By January, three Indian states will have cap and trade programs in place, will a national program pushed by environment minister Jairam Ramesh. In China a pilot national cap and trade scheme will be set up in at least six provinces over the next two years, with a nationwide program in place by 2015.Economic Times reports the Chinese program will,
...be based on provincial-level energy consumption targets, with Beijing expected to impose a gross national energy cap of 4 billion tons of standard coal by 2015. Guangdong [Province] has already submitted plans to cap the energy use of cities in its heavily populated Pearl River Delta region and allow them to trade consumption permits with one another.
photo: Gustavo Madico/Creative Commons
With this we are taking a step away from the 'command and control' method of enforcing environmental regulations.
Under this plan, initially to be implemented in the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, each factory will be allocated trading certificates based on current levels of emissions which can be traded in the future with other companies not hitting emissions reduction goals on their own.
We'll have to see how well both programs work. Neither in China nor still less India do intended outcomes of policy come to pass. But both are solidly positive steps toward mitigating climate change, and both are further examples of the US falling further out of step with the rest of the world on climate.