In recent years, climate protection and the transition to a low-carbon economy became core objectives of the Chinese Government. In 2009, China pledged to cut emissions per unit of GDP by 40-45 per cent by the year 2020 compared to the level in 2005. In 2011, the Chinese government announced to gradually establish a carbon market in China as one instrument to tackle rising carbon emissions. Seven pilot emissions trading systems (ETS) have been in operation since 2013 and 2014; including five cities Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Chongqing and Shenzhen and two provinces Guangdong and Hubei. Fuijian was selected as the eighth pilot ETS in 2016 by the central government. The establishment of the national ETS is scheduled for 2017.
The intention of the pilot ETS practice is to encourage the cities and provinces to try diversified trading methods and explore the best practice that may contribute to the successful establishment and implementation of a nationwide ETS. The developments and experiences during the pilot phase will substantially contribute to the setup of the national ETS in China. Hence, a successful course of the pilot phase will be crucial for the establishment of the national ETS.
The project “Capacity Building for the Establishment of ETS in China” takes the importance of the pilot phase into account. Thanks to the successful participation in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), China is already familiar with the mechanisms of the carbon market. However, there is yet no practical experience in the conception, establishment and implementation of GHG-emissions trading schemes. Representatives of the selected pilot regions have repeatedly stated their interest in German and European know-how and expertise. During an informational visit of representatives of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) to Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou in March 2012, representatives in the pilot regions voiced this interest in exchanging experiences and best practices.