China’s national carbon market to start trading in July

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China’s national carbon emissions trading market will commence trading in July, with all preparatory work ready, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment said on July 14.

The first batch of trading will be among the power companies, and market participants will be expanded to include other industries afterward, Zhao Yingmin, vice-minister of ecology and environment, told a press conference.

The ministry will roll out regulations on the trading, and improve relevant standards and management schemes while expanding the trading varieties and methods, Zhao said.

The carbon trading market is expected to be an important scheme for China to realize the goal of peaking carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2060.

Under the scheme, companies are assigned quotas for carbon emissions based on their output and industry-specific factors, and can sell excess emission allowances to those in need of more pollution quotas. In effect, the system would incentivize the low-carbon transition of firms.

Carbon emissions by the 2,000-plus power companies covered in the first batch of trading are estimated to exceed 4 billion metric tons per year. This means China’s carbon trading market would become the world’s largest in terms of the amount of greenhouse gas emissions covered.

As data authenticity and accuracy is the very basis of trading, the ministry would work to ensure the quality and transparency of emission data, Zhao said, adding that current data are basically in line with government requirements.