China's national emissions trading may launch in mid-2021 -Securities Times

FILE PHOTO: Smoke is seen from a cooling tower of a China Energy ultra-low emission coal-fired power plant during a media tour, in Sanhe, Hebei province, China July 18, 2019. REUTERS/Shivani Singh

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s long-awaited national emission trade scheme (ETS) is expected to launch in the middle of 2021, an executive from the Shanghai Environment and Energy Exchange said in an interview with government-backed Securities Times on Monday.

China has announced it will set up the trading platform for the national ETS in Shanghai and the registry platform in the central city of Wuhan.

The national ETS will be operated by an independent trading institute, but the final plan has not been approved by the authorities, said Shanghai Exchange Chairman Lai Xiaoming, according to the Securities Times. The exchange is participating in the construction of the trading platform.

“For the moment, the national ETS is expected to launch in the middle of this year,” said Lai, adding that up to 200 million tonnes of emissions could be traded once its launched.

According to a trial regulation issued by Beijing last week, the first compliance cycle of the national ETS is for Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2021, covering the emissions of 2019 and 2020 for 2,225 firms in power sector.

Having been repeatedly delayed, the ETS has moved up on the government’s agenda in response to President Xi Jinping’s pledge to bring China’s carbon emissions to a peak before 2030 and to reach carbon neutrality by around 2060.

Lai expects that eight key energy-consuming industries, such as steel, petrochemical and non-ferrous metals, will be included in the ETS, covering as many as 10,000 emitters with total emission allowances reaching 5 billion tonnes during 2021-2025.

Reporting by Muyu Xu and David Stanway; Editing by Christian Schmollinger