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China׳s carbon-emissions trading: Overview, challenges and future

Author

Listed:
  • Liu, Liwei
  • Chen, Chuxiang
  • Zhao, Yufei
  • Zhao, Erdong

Abstract

Because China has emerged as the largest greenhouse gas (GHG) emitter in total annual emissions, to accelerate the pace of GHG emission reduction in China is important to the success of global efforts in addressing climate change. Carbon trading is a market mechanism and key instrument in the mitigation of climate change. This paper explores the policy process and development state to date of China׳s carbon-trade market to understand the emergence and development of that market and to understand what barriers are hampering China׳s carbon-trade market development. To achieve this goal, this paper introduces and analyzes China׳s status in the international market, examines the factors driving carbon-market launching by the Chinese government, and traces the development of mandatory carbon-emission trading and voluntary emission trading. It is argued that China׳s carbon-trading market is confronted with challenges such as the absence of a functional carbon-trading market, inaccuracy of the quota allocation, an imperfect trading mechanism, and lagging legislation. At the present stage, shortcomings such as having no real-time carbon price and dominated spot transactions differentiate China׳s trade market substantially from a functional system. A quick market integration of China׳s carbon market appears remote. It is suggested that specific measures be taken to promote the development of the Chinese carbon-trading market.

Suggested Citation

  • Liu, Liwei & Chen, Chuxiang & Zhao, Yufei & Zhao, Erdong, 2015. "China׳s carbon-emissions trading: Overview, challenges and future," Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 254-266.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:rensus:v:49:y:2015:i:c:p:254-266
    DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2015.04.076
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