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China NDRC Issues Measures for Carbon Emission Trading

On Dec 10th, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) issued the Interim Measures for the Administration of Carbon Emission Trading. The measures will be effective from Jan 10th, 2015. It also will probably be released as a State Council Decree in the future. As NDRC planned, the legal system including the technical standards and other regulations will be integrated and completed in 2015 and the nation-wide carbon emission trading market will be fully launched between 2016 and 2020.

According to the measures, NDRC will stipulate the emission quota of each province and the quota distribution method. Also the list of enterprises that have reached the emission threshold and need to be monitored will also be made. These enterprises should notify the carbon emission trading management authorities at a provincial level and obtain their free emission quota. If there is any emission quota remaining after allocation, then authorities can distribute the remaining quota at a specified cost. The free emission quota will decrease in the future.

The industries that fall into the administrative scope of the measures will be determined later. It is believed that first batch of industries will mainly consists of the high energy consumption and high emission industries such as iron and steel, petroleum and non-ferrous metal. Some pilot service industries such as airports, hotels will not be included in the near future.

Prior to the release of the measures for carbon emission trading, State Council released the guidance on the pollutant emission trading some months ago. These trading measures helped gather information and deter emission. However the implementation of emission trading relies heavily on truthful information disclosure, public supervision and integrity of the competent authorities. Once handled improperly, fully implemented emission trading will have significant influence on a broad range of industries.

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