The EU and China are stepping up cooperation on carbon markets, ahead of the launch of China's nationwide emissions trading system.
China's system, to be launched by the end of this year, will help the country - the world's biggest emitter of greenhouse gas emissions - to mitigate emissions cost-effectively. The EU, with the largest emissions trading system in the world, the EU ETS, is supporting China to establish and develop its own system.
The EU and China launched a cooperation project on emissions trading earlier this year. Funded through the EU Foreign Partnership Instrument, the €10-million three-year project builds on a previous cooperation project launched in 2014, which supported the roll-out of seven pilot schemes across China.
Ahead of the launch of China's nationwide scheme, high-level policymakers and experts gathered today to discuss best practices and share experiences in carbon markets, at the UN climate conference (COP23) in Bonn.
Hosted by China's Special Representative on Climate Change Affairs Xie Zhenhua, the high-level event at the China Pavilion at COP23 was opened by European Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete and California Governor Jerry Brown.
Speaking after the event, Commissioner Arias Cañete said: "China is ready to launch its nationwide emissions trading system, which is set to cover more than twice as much CO2 as the EU ETS, once it reaches its full scope. This will undoubtedly send a strong signal to the rest of the world in support of carbon markets. The EU is therefore pleased to engage in even closer bilateral cooperation with our Chinese counterparts".
The EU ETS uses a cap-and-trade system to reduce emissions from large power stations, industrial plants and flights within Europe. It covers nearly half of all EU greenhouse gas emissions. Last week, the European Parliament and Council reached a provisional agreement to reform the EU ETS for the post-2020 period.