China officially launches a national carbon emissions trading scheme today. The move follows pilot programs since 2013 which spanned multiple industries in multiple cities. Sun Ye takes a closer look at how China is evolving into the world's largest carbon market.
Now, a new national market to trade carbon emissions in China. The trading mechanism lets participants sell excess emission quotas and buy them if they've run out. For now, it enrolled enterprises that put out 26,000 tons of carbon dioxide or the equivalent every year. The head count is just over 2200 enterprises, and all of them power plants.
While the market itself is only taking baby steps, various reports have estimated China's carbon market would be a multi-trillion-yuan volume market by 2030.
The national market operations will be largely modeled on what pilot areas, including Beijing, have been testing for the past decade.
ZOU YI Assistant General Manager, China Beijing Green Exchange "When Beijing launched the carbon market plan, power plants, cement factories, petrochemical companies and other industrial firms were included. Since 2016, we've included both fixed facilities and mobile ones. Civil aviation aircraft were added in 2020."
Beijing has traded some 1.9 billion yuan, or 300 million USD worth of carbon products in the past years.
SUN YE Beijing "Market volume is not the only thing a national market aims for. China has vowed to have its carbon emissions peak by the year 2030 and reach carbon neutral by 2060."
MA YONG Deputy Secretary-General, China Biodiversity Conservation and Green Development Foundation "With a national carbon market, China has now entered the first echelon in terms of climate governance in the world. The move shows China's resolution to meet its carbon reduction goals while also setting an important example for others. If the market runs well, China's experience will be carrying even more weight."
But Ma also cautions that the market would first have to iron out regional and departmental discrepancies before fully setting sail.
Date：February 1, 2021