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DOHA -- China hopes to extend its pilot carbon emission trading system, or ETS, to across the nation in its new five-year plan starting 2016, a member of the Chinese delegation to the ongoing UN climate talks said Thursday.
China issued tentative ETS regulations in June and launched pilot programs in the cities of Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing and Shenzhen, as well as the provinces of Guangdong and Hubei, said Wang Shu, an official from China's National Development and Reform Commission, or NDRC, at a side event of the Doha talks.
"The pilots are part of the key endeavors in China's 12th five-year plan (2011-15) and we hope to roll out the carbon market to other regions and eventually across the nation in the 13th five-year plan," Wang said.
The pilot cities and provinces have submitted their proposals for implementation, while Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin and Guangdong are likely to start implementing very soon, he said.
According to Xie Zhenhua, head of the Chinese delegation and also NDRC's deputy director, the pilot ETS projects in China have made remarkable progresses.
Meanwhile, Connie Hedegaard, European commissioner for climate action, welcomed China's ETS efforts to reduce carbon emission, and said she agreed with Beijing's vision "that China's emission cutting drive needs the introduction of market mechanism".
Pledging EU's assistance, Hedegaard said she expects more cooperation on the financing agreement for the EU to help China in establishing its own ETS.
Under the $32.7 million deal, the EU shall provide expertise and assistance in setting up China's ETS pilots, along with other environmental goals.
Dirk Forrister, president of International Emissions Trading Association, also told Xinhua that China's ETS drive is "very impressive" and he is "excited to see that pilots are launched on time."
The "large amount of market interest" and the "political will at the very top," which China has shown, are key to the ETS' success, he said.