China to Launch Carbon Trading Market by 2017

18.06.2015 -

China is poised to start its national carbon-trading scheme in late 2016 or early 2017, as part of its strategy to promote green, low-carbon economic development, officials said at a conference this week.

The nationwide scheme would be included in China’s commitments to be submitted to the United Nations before the end of June, ahead of the global climate conference in Paris this autumn.

“There is a lot of work to be done if we are to get the market running by 2016, and the launch date depends on the progress we make,” Wang Shu, a climate change officer with the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), told the conference.

The country regarded as the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, aims to begin slashing emissions after 2030 and toward this goal has pledged to make full use of market mechanisms.

A pilot carbon credit trading project was launched in 2011 at seven locations and is due to end in June 2016 when the new nationwide scheme starts. Observers, however, have expressed doubts about its chances for success, due to the country’s vast size and the lack of incentives. Most emissions permits are believed to have been offered free of charge.

The independently operating platforms also have different trading rules and eligibility criteria, which has made cross-platform trading difficult, and, what’s more, the slowdown in the economy has left many companies with surplus permits, reports say.