December 23, 2015 / 11:22 AM / 4 years ago

China sets CO2 reporting standards ahead of market launch

BEIJING, Dec 23 (Reuters) - China issued national standards for industrial firms to report their greenhouse gas emissions as part of the country’s plan to launch a national carbon market in 2017.

The new standards, issued by the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) on Wednesday, will enable the China to create a statistical system for greenhouse gas emissions and support the establishment of a national carbon trading scheme.

China has pledged to bring its CO2 emissions to a peak by around 2030, although it has not set a cap. It aims to cut its carbon intensity, or carbon emission for generating each unit of economic output, by 60-65 percent by 2030 from the 2005 level.

The reporting rules cover 10 industries including power generation, grids, magnesium and aluminium smelting, steel and iron, civil aviation, glass, cement, ceramic, chemicals productions, the state economic planner said in a statement.

Under the trading scheme, companies will have to commit to emission targets by buying permits from other market participants, or limiting output, investing in new technology or taking other steps to reduce emissions.

Since 2013 Beijing has ordered that companies that produce more than 13,000 tonnes of CO2 a year report emissions data, helping authorities to make forecasts.

“China’s capacity in measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) is still at a developing stage,” said Li Junfeng, a senior researcher with the government think tank, the National Centre for climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation.

China aimed to see its CO2 emissions peak around 2030, but it has not set a cap level. It pledged to cut its carbon intensity, or carbon emission for generating each unit of economic output, by 60-65 percent by 2030 from 2005 level.

The data reporting will enable the government to set regional reduction targets and allow companies taking part in the scheme to check their carbon permit balance.

Although the regional carbon intensity targets would vary in accordance with economic status, NDRC market designer, Jiang Zhaoli, said that no preferential treatment would be given to companies in poorer areas, in a bid to prevent large emitters moving to those regions.

Reporting by Kathy Chen and Chen Aizhu, editing by Louise Heavens

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