China reveals plans for national carbon market

On December 19, the Chinese Government announced plans for a nationwide carbon emission trading scheme (ETS) for the country's power sector. The scheme is in line with an undertaking made by President Xi during a visit with President Obama in September 2015, when he stated that a national carbon market would be launched in 2017

Following approval of the plans by State Council, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) released some details of how it will be implemented.

According to DRC Vice Chairman Zhang Yong, trading activities will be based Shanghai, and will involve 1,700 power companies and more than 3 billion tons of carbon dioxide annually, or one-third of China's total emissions. It will be the world's largest trading system, exceeding the European Union's carbon emission trading program which accounts for around 1.4 billion tonnes of emissions.

Nine regions and cities, including Jiangsu, Fujian and seven regions where pilot schemes have taken place, will participate in the establishment of the ETS system

It is not yet known when the trading scheme will commence or how permits will be allocated.

Under the Paris Agreement, China has agreed to cap carbon emissions by around 2030.

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