| BEIJING, June 13
BEIJING, June 13 More than a quarter of all
companies covered by Beijing's municipal carbon laws ignored a
key reporting deadline, local media reported Friday, with some
powerful companies questioning the local government trading
body's authority to regulate them.
Beijing's carbon trading market, one of six set up in China
to rein in rapidly growing greenhouse gas emissions, caps carbon
dioxide from nearly 500 local enterprises.
Most of them must hand over permits to the government to
cover for their emissions, while some must only report their CO2
But 140 of them missed an April deadline to submit a
verified report of their 2013 emissions, local newspapers
reported on Friday, a key to determining how many permits each
firm must hand over to the government to cover for CO2 output.
Some of the firms implied that Beijing's Development and
Reform Commission (DRC), which operates the scheme, did not have
the authority to issue orders.
"It ends up like this because they don't follow our rules
and the document shown to us does not fit the requirements,"
Zhou Jiancheng, vice director of planning and statistics at the
Beijing Railway Bureau, one of the firms that failed to submit
the report, told newspaper Beijing Youth Daily.
He said the company would have to see a "red-header
document" before they would submit the emissions report.
In China, a "red-header document" normally refers to orders
issued by the highest levels of government, whose name would be
printed in red on the letterhead.
By saying it has not received such a document, the Beijing
Railway Bureau indicated it did not consider the scheme rules
issued by the DRC as authoritative enough to pay attention to.
The Beijing DRC was not immediately available for comment.
The Beijing Railway Bureau operates most of the railway
system in Beijing, Tianjin and Hebei province, and is owned by
the China Railway Corp, making its CEO far more powerful than
the head of the Beijing DRC.
It is unclear whether it is obliged to surrender permits
under the scheme or if it only must report its emissions, as the
DRC has not published a list of scheme participants.
State-owned enterprises (SOEs) routinely ignore
environmental regulations issued by local governments, one of
the main reasons why China is struggling to cut soaring
pollution levels despite issuing a raft of environmental
policies in the last couple of years.
A new law mandates all companies to follow environmental
regulations regardless of the authority level, but that does not
enter into force until next year and it remains to be seen how
successful it will be.
"They (SOEs) are not just businesses, many have
administrative status higher than local governments. It is quite
difficult to manage and has not been completely resolved yet,"
Ma Jun, director of the Institute of Public and Environmental
Affairs, told Reuters.
Beijing, where companies must hand over permits to the
government to cover for their 2013 emissions by June 15, is only
the latest of several local governments struggling to enforce
its carbon scheme.
Guangdong province and the cities of Shenzhen and Tianjin
have also found it difficult to convince local firms to follow
The regional trading markets are intended as a pilot phase
before a national market begins later in the decade.
Sun Cuihua, deputy director of the climate change department
in the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said
earlier this month the national market will begin in 2016 or
2017, but that it won't be fully operational until 2020.
(Editing by Michael Perry)