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National carbon emissions trade platform taking shape

By Hou Liqiang | | Updated: 2018-06-14 12:36
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China will speed up the drafting and implementation of rules and regulations on carbon emissions trading, a senior official said on Wednesday after the country celebrated its sixth Low Carbon Day, an annual event launched in 2013 by the State Council to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

Speaking at a seminar on carbon emissions trading in Beijing, Li Gao, director of climate change at the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, said documents already published will be amended if State Council institutional reforms require such action.

According to the reforms, the task of tackling climate change has been transferred to the ministry from the National Development and Reform Commission, the top economic planner.

“Carbon emissions trading will be launched nationwide, first in the power generation sector and gradually extended to other industries,” Li said.

The NDRC published a carbon emissions trading plan for the power generation industry in December, marking the start of the construction of a national carbon emissions trading system, he added.

Under the system, enterprises are assigned emissions quotas, and those producing more than their share are allowed to buy unused quotas on the market.

He said his department will help government bodies and power generation enterprises be better prepared for the coming carbon emissions trading platform, and training will be provided.

The country launched a pilot carbon emissions trading program in 2011 in seven regions, including Beijing, Shanghai and Hubei province. By the end of September, pilot programs in these regions covered almost 3,000 entities from more than 20 industrial sectors, according to a 2017 report published by the NDRC’s Energy Research Institute.

Li said no more pilot regions will be added, and his department will discuss with the seven pilot regions on how best to proceed toward a unified nationwide carbon market platform. 

According to its Paris Agreement pledges, China will have to reduce carbon emissions per unit of GDP by 60 to 65 percent by 2030 from 2005 levels.

Xie Zhenhua, China’s special representative on climate change, said at a March summit that the country reached its 2020 carbon emissions target last year.

By the end of 2017, China had cut carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 46 percent from 2005 levels, Xie was quoted by Xinhua News Agency as saying.

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