• Delayed national carbon trading system may surface next year in China

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

China’s planned carbon emissions trading scheme looks to be further delayed, according to a piece in the Financial Times. The scheme, originally announced in 2015 by General Secretary Xi Jinping as opening in 2017 in a nationwide form, was expected to become the largest emissions trading market in the world when launched. In January this year, the head of the climate office at China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment told reporters that a breakthrough in progress was hoped before the end of this year, but the COVID-19 crisis has since intervened, which some observers think may force a prioritisation of economic issues over environmental ones (that is, in places where they conflict in the short-term). Even prior to the start of this year, the scope of the trading system had shrunk from the originally-intended eight industrial sectors to only the power generation sector, with hurdles including establishing an adequate data collection system as well as other political and technical matters, according to those interviewed by the FT. Several regional pilot schemes have been operating for a number of years, and the current expectation is that the nationwide system will launch properly next year. As with the European ETS, however, teething and ongoing problems may occur.