• China’s carbon trading scheme set to begin exchange

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

A blog post by the International Centre for Sustainable Carbon (the ‘rebadged’ former Clean Coal Centre) of the International Energy Agency has looked at the launch of China’s emissions trading scheme, which officially began in February of this year, after years of preparation and testing, although the first trading is expected only very soon. The scheme applies only to thermal power generation at this stage, but there are 2,225 power stations subscribed, covering something like 40% of China’s total carbon emissions, and 12% of the world’s. China’s ETS, like its national carbon targets, are based on carbon intensity rather than absolute emissions, and allowances are granted according to a national carbon intensity benchmark, encouraging less carbon-efficient plants to improve, although without creating an overall emissions cap. The Centre’s blogger Stephanie Metzger suggests that China will make the scheme more stringent and more encompassing with time, as the European Commission has with its own scheme, and the next sector that is likely to be included is that of refining and petrochemicals. Many eyes will be on the performance of the new scheme.