China launched its first environmental exchange on Tuesday, bringing the country one step closer to eventually providing a platform for emission quota trading, AFP reported. Xiong Yan, chairman of the new Beijing Environmental Exchange, said it will be a trading platform for environmental protection technologies among domestic and foreign companies, agencies and banks. The exchange will initially focus on environmental technology businesses and later aim to incorporate carbon emission trading. The launch of the exchange is also expected to lift domestic carbon emission quota prices – currently at US$15.50 per ton, compared to the international level of US$26.36 – by providing local sellers with access to trading information.
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