Carbon Expo Asia highlights mainland's prominence in greenhouse gas market An emissions-trading event will be held for the first time in Beijing next month in a bold attempt to attract a large number of buyers of carbon credits from developed countries. It is hoped the first Carbon Expo Asia will help promote carbon credits, developed under the Kyoto Protocol to reduce emissions levels, on the mainland and in other Asian countries. Andrei Marcu, president and chief executive of the International Emissions Trading Association, said it was the first time the carbon expo was being held outside Cologne, Germany, and China was chosen for its growing importance in the global emissions trade. 'China is playing an increasing role in Asia and China is playing an increasing role in this rapidly growing CDM [Clean Development Mechanism] greenhouse gas market,' Mr Marcu said. 'It is only natural for the organisers that we should also have an activity in China to help make the connection between the buyers who are everywhere in Europe and Japan and North America, to the project developers and projects which are being developed in China and India and Southeast Asia.' CDM lets countries or companies acquire Certified Emission Reduction credits that can be used to meet their own commitments to reducing carbon dioxide emissions by investing in projects in developing and industrialising countries without themselves having to reduce emissions. The mainland has become the largest seller in the global emissions trade since last year, accounting for 66 per cent of the contracted volume of projects signed between January last year and March this year, according to a report by the World Bank and the trading association. It was a big leap from less than a year ago when the mainland took up only 5 per cent of the contracted volume signed between January and December 2004. Mr Marcu said he expected the number of contracts signed at next month's expo - organised by the International Emissions Trading Association, the World Bank and Koelnmesse - to be a record for the mainland. While declining to reveal details of individual deals, Mr Marcu said a single deal could sometimes reach US$1 billion, although many buyers would also be interested in smaller projects. 'Even for a booming economy like China, it is important money,' he said. Many large state-owned enterprises on the mainland would also attend the trade fair. It is expected to attract nearly 100 exhibitors from 30 countries and more than 800 visitors from 40 countries. Mr Marcu said he believed the expo could help introduce the relatively new concept to mainland enterprises, and provide a strong incentive for them to cut down emissions. 'It is going to provide an incentive for people to think about this issue because once there is a price associated with a commodity, people will start thinking about it,' Mr Marcu said. He said the transactions would also provide funding for projects such as power plants to adopt technology that can reduce carbon emissions.