China Announces Steps to Advance its Carbon Market and to Study Carbon Neutrality

EDF statement from Zhang Jianyu, Vice President, China

September 22, 2020
Yu Yin, yuyin@cet.net.cn

China is taking bold steps to address its contribution to climate change. The country is preparing to launch the first trading program of its nationwide carbon market, beginning by the end of this year with the power sector and then expanding to other industries and increasing transaction types, an official announced earlier this month. China is also working on a long-term vision for tackling climate change by the middle of this century, including a target for when they will peak emissions and when the nation will reach carbon neutrality, a spokesperson said following last week’s EU-China dialogue, where the two governments established a dedicated dialogue on climate and the environment.  

“Anytime you see the world’s largest emitter talking about increasing its ambition and considering carbon neutrality, that’s good news. China has established a strong foundation for enhanced climate commitments and corresponding policies, and carbon pricing can play a crucial role.

“In the meantime, we should focus on the actions China is taking to set the stage for real climate action, including advancing the world’s largest carbon market. The latest promise from Chinese authorities shows that China keeps exploring the role of carbon markets in reducing carbon emissions. Depending on how that market evolves, it has the potential to be a powerful engine of greater ambition for China – and the world. 

“It’s clear the long-awaited EU-China dialogue was a success and lays the foundation for greater cooperation going forward. The subsequent announcement from Europe of its plan to reduce emissions by at least 55% from 1990 levels by 2030 is a terrific demonstration of global leadership.”

  • Zhang Jianyu, Vice President, Environmental Defense Fund China

Background
Li Gao, Director General for Climate Change at China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE), announced Sept. 7 “This year, China will use the power sector to jumpstart carbon trading.” 

China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin announced Sept. 15 China is “considering and studying a mid-century long-term vision for climate change, including such issues as the peaking of carbon dioxide emissions and carbon neutrality.” He also said China has reached its 2020 climate action targets and “is willing to contribute more.”
 

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