China’s Carbon Market: Driving Towards a Zero-Carbon Future

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China is taking unprecedented measures to address global climate change challenges. At this critical juncture, the “Interim Regulations on the Management of Carbon Emission Trading” have come into effect, marking a new stage of legal and standardized development for China’s carbon market. This article explores the key aspects of the regulations and their contribution to global climate governance.

Building a Scientific Management System and Strengthening Regulatory Efficiency
The regulations establish a clear management framework for carbon emission trading, with the ecological environment department at its core. This department is responsible for supervising trading activities and ensuring transparency and efficient regulation through the national carbon emission trading market management platform. The establishment of a national carbon emission rights registration and trading institution ensures smooth registration, settlement, and centralized trading, laying a solid foundation for the market’s stable operation.

Flexible Market Mechanisms to Promote Low-Carbon Transformation
The regulations strike a balance between flexibility and foresight by establishing principles for determining market elements. They ensure compatibility between national and local markets while avoiding redundant construction. By dynamically adjusting the greenhouse gas types and industry scope included in carbon trading and innovating trading products, the regulations encourage more participants to engage in various trading methods. This stimulates market vitality and promotes economic low-carbon transformation.

Optimizing Quota Allocation to Incentivize Emission Reduction Innovation
The regulations propose an annual carbon emission quota allocation mechanism that primarily relies on free allocation and gradually introduces paid allocation. This mechanism ensures a smooth transition for enterprises while providing market-driven incentives for voluntary carbon emission reduction. The Ministry of Ecology and Environment, in collaboration with relevant departments, formulates the total quota and allocation plan based on scientific methods. This ensures the achievement of national greenhouse gas control targets while balancing economic development and emission reduction needs.

Strengthening Data Quality to Ensure Accurate Emission Reporting
Accurate data is crucial for the effective operation of the carbon market. The regulations strictly regulate the responsibilities of emission reporting preparation and verification, ensuring data quality from the source. Key emitting units self-report their emissions, which are rigorously verified by government departments. This process ensures the reliability of carbon emission data, providing a solid basis for scientific decision-making and fair market transactions.

Synergy between Electricity and Carbon

The “Regulations” open a new chapter in the synergy between electricity and carbon, particularly regarding carbon emission quota payment by key emitting units and the adjustment of non-fossil energy electricity consumption. Grid enterprises play new roles in this context, necessitating a deeper focus on carbon management. They need to explore electricity-carbon measurement technologies, establish green electricity consumption accounting systems, promote policy-market alignment, and support the low-carbon transformation of the power industry and the broader economy and society.

Integration of Electricity and Carbon for a Zero-Carbon Future
With the implementation of the “Regulations,” China’s carbon market is experiencing accelerated development. Grid enterprises, as a key link between energy production and consumption, should leverage their data advantages to deepen electricity-carbon measurement and accounting. They can promote green electricity consumption certification and facilitate the integration between the carbon market and the power system. Strengthening international cooperation and participating in the formulation of international electricity-carbon measurement standards will contribute to technological innovation and support China’s and the world’s carbon reduction efforts, ultimately moving towards a zero-carbon future.