OK, there is plenty of bad news on all three of those fronts, and this development goes only so far. But it's positive, and it's creative -- and, from my parochial perspective, it also ties together a variety of strands I've been following for a long time. So, here goes:
Shenzhen, an economically-vibrant city of 15 million on the South China Sea, launched the first of seven Chinese regional pilot carbon market systems slated to begin by the end of 2014.The Shenzhen market is set include at least 635 local companies that contribute approximately 40% of the city's CO2 emissions, and is expected to result in a 21% decrease in the carbon intensity of the economy in just two years. Shenzhen is one of seven carbon trading pilots that represent about 25% of China's GDP and may include thousands of companies emitting hundreds of millions of tons of CO2.
This is good in many ways: As an example of the typical Chinese "try a bunch of experiments, and then do more of what works" governing strategy. As one more sign of the type of international cooperation that matters more than any other on climate issues, joint efforts between the U.S. and China. As an illustration of the Shenzhen area's rapid evolution out of the low-wage, low-value-added, dirty-job economic model. As evidence that the Chinese government recognizes that "sustainability" in all its aspects is the very greatest challenge to the country's continued development and even the regime's survival.