Climate Action

China and EU make the case for emissions trading


At a joint event today at the Paris climate conference, the EU and China highlighted the importance of emissions trading in achieving cost-effective emission reductions and moving towards a low-carbon and energy efficient economy.

EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: "With both the EU and China committed to emissions trading, two major international players are championing carbon markets as a key policy tool to curb greenhouse gas emissions and put a price on carbon. This is a strong signal and crucially needed by companies and stakeholders. I am confident it will encourage others to follow suit."

In September, the Chinese President Xi Jinping announced that China would introduce a nationwide emissions trading system as from 2017. Following the establishment and implementation of seven pilot systems in China, the European Commission is supporting China in setting up its nationwide system.

In a joint statement on climate change at the recent EU-China Summit, both sides agreed “to further enhance existing bilateral cooperation on carbon markets”. Commissioner Arias Cañete highlighted that the Commission and China are currently working on concrete ideas how to implement the statement and intensify existing cooperation activities.

Currently available figures indicate that once the Chinese national system is in place, emissions trading systems will cover an estimated 17-18% of global CO2 emissions, compared to 9% today. The Chinese system is likely to cover twice the amount of emissions as the EU ETS, once it is fully operational.