China to start nationwide emissions trading market in 2017

Updated: 2015-11-19 17:17


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BEIJING -- China is striving to launch a nationwide carbon emissions trading market in 2017 to fulfill the country's commitment of a low carbon future, said a senior official on Thursday.

China will start a nationwide carbon emissions trading market at a faster pace following smooth operation of seven pilot programs across the country, Xie Zhenhua, China's special representative on climate change, told a press conference.

Transactions of the seven pilots totalled about 1.2 billion yuan ($188.9 million), involving gas emission quotas of 40.24 million tons, according to an annual report released Thursday by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC).

The core to building a national emission trading market lies in reasonable quota plans, a sound market mechanism, detailed regulations and an improved registration system, said Xie.

China began piloting carbon trading in 2011 and approved seven programs in Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing, Shenzhen, Guangdong and Hubei.

Under the programs, enterprises which produce more than their share of emissions are allowed to buy unused quotas on the market from those that cause less pollution.

China aims to cut carbon dioxide emissions per unit of gross domestic product (GDP) by 60 percent to 65 percent from the 2005 level by 2030, according to China's intended nationally determined contributions (INDC), an action plan submitted to the Secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

That goal will be a big step further from China's previous emission control target, which eyes a decrease of 40 percent to 45 percent from the 2005 level by 2020.

In 2014, carbon emissions per unit of GDP was 33.8 percent lower than the 2005 level.