China’s Shenzhen to impose sanctions to firms if carbon targets not met-media

China’s Shenzhen will fine to companies that fail to comply with targets under the city’s carbon trading scheme.

The Shenzhen government last week arranged a special CO2 permit auction to help local emitters meet their targets for 2013 by the June 30 deadline. But only around a third of the permits on offer were picked up, with some of the 635 scheme participants saying they didn’t participate because they were unhappy about scheme rules and planned to appeal to the government about how their emission targets had been set.

Guangdong province faces a similar situation in its market, casting doubt over China’s ability to enforce targets in its carbon markets, the main policy tool to cut climate-changing greenhouse gases in the world’s biggest-emitting nation.

“Non-compliers will be asked to pay a fine of three times the market value (of each permit they fail to hand over to the government),” Zhou Quanhong, head of the Shenzhen government carbon trading office.

Zhou’s message was seen by market players as sending a strong message that the government intends to ensure the scheme is properly implemented and reassure traders that market regulations would be upheld.

Nearly half of all emitters covered by the Shenzhen emissions market face a shortage of permits to meet 2013 targets, according to the government.

Finding sellers could be a challenge for buyers, who only have 15 days to get their books in order. Liquidity in the scheme is poor with only a handful of thousand permits trading each day.