Premier Li Keqiang urged young mainland entrepreneurs to innovate and make a global impact as he toured Tianjin yesterday, a day after the city became the nation's latest region to use market forces to curb air pollution through the trading of carbon dioxide emission rights.
Li said young people should merge innovation and entrepreneurialism, citing Microsoft founder Bill Gates and late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs as examples of successful people who turned innovation in small ventures into global empires.
While visiting a state bank in the northeastern port, he also pledged support for the mainland's nascent financial leasing industry, adding that financial innovations should match the needs of the real economy.
Tianjin has become the fifth mainland region to launch the trading of carbon emission rights, an experiment with using market forces to reach emission reduction goals for the pollutant linked to global warming.
Some 1.25 million yuan (HK$1.58 million) worth of carbon dioxide emission rights changed hands on Thursday, the Tianjin Climate Exchange said yesterday.
The exchange's trading debut follows that of Guangdong on December 19, Beijing and Shanghai late last month and Shenzhen in June. Chongqing is expected to open for business next month, followed closely by Hubei province.
In late 2011 Beijing ordered pilot carbon exchanges be set up in seven municipalities and provinces by the end of this year.
David Tang Yue-tan, secretary of the board of the Tianjin Climate Exchange, said: "Starting with regional pilots to gain experience is similar to the approach to set up special economic zones and free-trade zones in China."
Just published trading regulations are valid until May 31, 2016. Tang said that was because it was uncertain whether Beijing would want the regional exchanges to continue after that, or be replaced by a national exchange.
Five deals were conducted on the Tianjin exchange's debut day, at 26 to 28 yuan a tonne. This compares with first day trades at 60 yuan in Guangdong, 50 yuan in Beijing, 28 yuan in Shanghai and 80 yuan in Shenzhen.
Each market has different trading rules and thresholds for polluters to be subject to emission quotas, based on local economic and industrial structure.