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China's carbon trading pilot boosts emissions control

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-03-27 17:57
Smoke spews out from a tall chimney in Beijing, Dec 18, 2013. [Photo/VCG]

SHANGHAI - China's carbon trading system has enabled the country to reach its 2020 carbon emissions target in 2017, China's special representative on climate change has said.

Xie Zhenhua said at the Green Carbon Summit held here Monday that by the end of 2017, China had cut carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 46 percent from the 2005 level, fulfilling its commitment to reduce CO2 emissions by 40 to 45 percent from the 2005 level by 2020.

From 2005 to 2015, China's economy grew by 1.48 times, and at the same time, the carbon intensity dropped by 38.6 percent. In 2016, the rate continued to fall by 6.6 percent year on year.

According to China's commitment to the Paris Agreement, it will have to cut carbon emissions per unit of GDP by 60-65 percent by 2030 from the 2005 level.

The carbon emissions trading system was initiated in 2011 and includes power generation, iron and steel production and cement manufacturing sectors in seven provinces and municipalities including Shanghai, Xie said.

Transactions totalling 200 million tonnes of carbon emissions quotas had been completed via the platform by the end of 2017, with total turnover hitting 4.7 billion yuan ($751 million).

The National Development and Reform Commission launched a nationwide carbon emissions trading system in the power generation industry in December last year.

Under the scheme, enterprises are assigned emissions quotas and those producing more than their share of emissions are allowed to buy unused quotas on the market from those that cause less pollution.

Xie said the system is a step toward establishing a national carbon market. Relevant departments should take measures to facilitate the registration, trade settlements, and accounting to better regulate the carbon market.

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