China’s Guangdong province to hand out carbon credits for donating, selling second-hand clothes

Published 13:13 on November 5, 2020  /  Last updated at 23:16 on November 5, 2020  /  China, China's Offset Market, China's Pilot Markets  /  No Comments

The Guangdong provincial government has approved a pilot project to award carbon credits to companies, groups, and individuals that sell or donate used clothing, the first jurisdiction in the world to do so.

The Guangdong provincial government has approved a pilot project to award carbon credits to companies, groups, and individuals that sell or donate used clothing, the first jurisdiction in the world to do so.

Companies, cooperatives, social groups, or even individuals, that can document they have donated or sold used clothes will be eligible to receive Guangdong carbon offsets, known as PHCERs, the provincial Department of Ecology and Environment (DEE) said Thursday.

The quantity of credits issued will be based on how much would have been emitted had the clothes been burned or dumped at a landfill, the pilot methodology said.

Guangdong, home to more than 100 million people, has seen living standards steadily increase over the past three decades, and as a result an increasing amount of clothes have been thrown away rather than passed on to younger siblings or relatives, adding to the province’s waste problems.

Awarding carbon credits to those that pass clothes on instead of discarding them is an attempt to address that issue, making Guangdong the world’s first jurisdiction to use carbon markets to do so.

The DEE published a 17-page report explaining the details of how the methodology would work, specifying the type of documents required to qualify, along with other guidelines.

Documented second-hand sales or donations taking place after Jan. 1, 2019 would qualify, the agency said.

PHCERs can be used by participants in Guangdong’s pilot emissions trading scheme to meet a share of their compliance obligations, and regularly fetch well above the market value for Guangdong allowances, which are currently priced just below 28 yuan ($4.24) per tonne of CO2e.

However, the use is limited to a total 1.5 mln PHCERs/year in a market that regulates more than 400 MtCO2 annually.

PHCER projects have so far mainly been focussed on forestry projects, especially in counties categorised as poor, though the provincial government earlier this year became the world’s first to hand out offsets to a bike-sharing company.

By Stian Reklev – stian@carbon-pulse.com

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