Beijing, 21 December 2017 – China's nationwide carbon emission trading system, launched on 19 December, marks an important step toward promoting a low carbon transition in the world's leading emitter of CO2, according to WWF.
Szeping LO, CEO of WWF-China, says the emissions trading system (ETS) could provide new impetus for China's low carbon development and the country's transition toward a low carbon economy by helping align its potential with commitments under the Paris Agreement.
"The ETS should be consistent with China's climate plan targets, and contribute to the implementation of Paris Agreement. An allowance allocation approach should make a gradual shift from free to auction, leading to more climate actions and greater investment in clean technologies," he said.
According to China's Future Generation 2.0 report in 2015, around 84 per cent of China's electricity generation can be met by renewable sources by mid-century if appropriate policies are put in place.
"An energy transition to renewables is economically feasible in the Chinese power sector. We hope the national carbon market meets its potential and provides a new and powerful push toward energy efficiency improvement and renewable development in power sector," Szeping added.
WWF is working toward helping accelerate the energy transition in China through policy research, pilot practice and international cooperation.
Notes for Editors
- Only China's power sector is covered in the preliminary stage of the ETS due to its relatively robust data and large proportion of total emissions. In the preliminary stage, more than 1,700 enterprises with over 3 billion tons CO2e will be covered, making the Chinese national ETS the biggest carbon market in the world. The government is expected to involve eight energy-intensive sectors including petrochemicals, chemicals, building materials, steel and iron in the future.
- ETS is one of the most important policy tools available to control greenhouse gas emissions. Establishing a national carbon market was identified as a key priority in China's Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), an important action for the implementation of Paris Agreement.
- In 2011, the NDRC approved seven pilot provinces and cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Chongqing, Hubei, Guangdong and Shenzhen) to carry out the Carbon Emissions Trading System. By November 2017, the seven pilot carbon markets covered nearly 3,000 key enterprises from more than 20 industries and traded 200 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e), involving a total turnover of about 4.6 billion Yuan.