Trading of certified carbon emission reductions benefits villages in S China’s Guangdong

By Hong Qiuting, People’s Daily

Photo shows the stunning scenery of Yingde, Qingyuan, South China’s Guangdong Province. Photo/Courtesy of official website of Qingyuan municipal government

Emission reduction of greenhouse gases is now certified and traded under the Puhui Certified Emission Reductions (PHCER) program in South China’s Guangdong Province, helping increase the collective income of the province’s villages.


In April, 1,448 tons of reduced carbon dioxide equivalents in Qianfeng village, Hengshitang township in Yingde city of the province was transacted after fierce bidding at an auction.


“The purchase price is 36 yuan ($5) per ton,” said Li Yanshen, Party head of the village. The transaction helped the village gain over 50,000 yuan in collective income.


The PHCER trading means the transaction of greenhouse gas emissions reduced by increasing carbon sinks in the process of forest management and operation, which will be converted into certified emission reductions.


Guangdong launched the first batch of the PHCER pilot schemes in July 2015. By quantifying and pricing energy saving and emission reduction behaviors of small and medium-sized enterprises, households and individuals, the province established an encouraging mechanism that combines commercial incentives, incentive policies, and trading of certified emission reductions.


“Qianfeng village has sound conditions to implement the PHCER program thanks to its abundant forestry resources,” said Chen Shuyan, head of the forestry bureau in Yingde.


“Each forestry land participating in the program should provide its cadastral data, such as its boundaries,” said Geng Hongbo, the first secretary of the village for poverty alleviation, who believes that certificates of forest rights are very helpful.


“Third-party agencies will verify such data, mainly by measuring the growth of trees and carbon emission reductions in previous years,” Geng added.


“About 456.3 hectares of forests in the village have been certified as a total of 1,448 tons of reduced carbon dioxide equivalents,” according to Geng, adding that the village’s PHCER scheme was approved in March after it was submitted and filed.


Many other entities in Yingde have participated in the PHCER program. Like Qianfeng, Longhua village in the township also completed a transaction in April at the China Emissions Exchange (Guangzhou), the largest local carbon market in China, generating a pollution-free income of about 130,000 yuan.


The Shimentai National Nature Reserve in Yingde is a place with lush mountains and lucid waters. “It’s suitable for planting Schima superba and maple trees, and we have planted about 1,333.3 hectares of forest carbon sinks,” said Zhou Guocheng, a ranger at the nature reserve.


Market-based PHCER trading has not only fostered a new growth point of green development for poverty-stricken villages to increase collective income, but also made villagers more convinced from their first-hand experience that lucid waters and lush mountains are invaluable assets. Besides, it has enhanced the endogenous dynamism of economic profits and the ecological environment, providing valuable experience for other impoverished areas to pursue green development.