So, what do you do?
That inevitable question.
PR; investment banking; consulting; journalism; IT: my friends’ answers usually get a pleasant smile and a nod.
My answer, “carbon trading,” rarely gets that reaction. I always wince a little before I throw it out there. Most people ask me what on earth carbon trading means. Others are horrified that I am paying Chinese companies to pollute. Once, a particularly pugnacious (and intoxicated) compatriot threw a fist at me. It’s not often that I hear, “Wow, carbon trading, that’s great.”
In a carbon market, an entity sets or is given a limit on how much greenhouse gas it can emit. If it isn’t able to meet this target in-house, it can buy emissions reduction credits from somewhere else. Carbon trading is the buying and selling of those reduction credits, known as carbon credits. Here in China, we develop emissions-reducing projects that generate carbon credits used to offset emissions elsewhere.
Most of the time, I dig myself in deeper with that follow up. Buying and selling emissions reductions? Outsourcing to China? It just doesn’t go over well. Still, I have learned that most of the upset surrounding the carbon market is based on common misconceptions that can easily be talked through....MORELeigh Fitzgerald is senior specialist at Arreon Carbon UK, a firm that develops carbon credits in China then trades them on the international market.
Homepage photo by sheilaz413
See the other articles in chinadialogue’s carbon trading series: