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China’s Carbon Market: Development, Evaluation, Coordination of Local and National Carbon Markets and Common Prosperity


  • Zhang, ZhongXiang


To achieve the commitments to both carbon peaking and carbon neutrality, China should focus on those policies of significant impact on emissions reduction at the lowest cost. Launching the national carbon market with the power generation sector is a good start point in this direction. Since its operation, the carbon price has not experienced sharp fluctuations, and falls within a range of CNY40~60 per ton. The block agreement transaction dominates trading, but with an average discount rate of 9.6% in block agreement, the aforementioned carbon prices overestimate the overall carbon prices. While the overall compliance rate measured against entities reached about 94.4%, there are significant differences across provinces, with compliance rate ranging from 82.9% to a full 100% compliance. Entities engaging in trading are mainly for compliance, and therefore transaction is driven by compliance. This article argues that the development of the carbon market requires further reform of the electricity pricing mechanism and the coordinated development of various related markets. With respect to national carbon trading scheme itself, the article discusses the areas where more work needs to be done to ensure that the national carbon emissions trading scheme functions properly. This involves carbon emissions trading legislation, further improvement in the rules conducive to the use of carbon emissions trading as a market tool, and the expansion of the participating industries and the scope of the carbon market in terms of diversifying market players and increasing trading varieties. Given the co-existence of the national carbon market and regional carbon market pilots, the article suggests the specific areas for the regional carbon markets to take the initiative to strengthen the synergistic effects of national carbon market. Furthermore, the article strongly recommends to continuously increase the proportion of carbon allowances auctions, and to set up a transformation fund from the proceeds of paid allocation of allowances to support the transformation and upgrading of regions with low levels of development and technology in China.

Suggested Citation

  • Zhang, ZhongXiang, 2022. "China’s Carbon Market: Development, Evaluation, Coordination of Local and National Carbon Markets and Common Prosperity," FEEM Working Papers 328581, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:feemwp:328581
    DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.328581

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    Cited by:

    1. Feng, Huchen & Hu, Yu-Jie & Li, Chengjiang & Wang, Honglei, 2023. "Rolling horizon optimisation strategy and initial carbon allowance allocation model to reduce carbon emissions in the power industry: Case of China," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 277(C).
    2. Li, Yangfan & Zhang, Xiaoyun, 2023. "Recycling scheme of carbon pricing for inclusive decarbonization and energy transition: A recursive computable general equilibrium analysis in China," Renewable Energy, Elsevier, vol. 217(C).
    3. Lingli Qi & Lei Zhao & Yongqiang Zhang & Shiqi Jiang & Xinyue Lin & Yishuai Ren, 2024. "Computable general equilibrium analysis of neutral carbon trading scheme and revenue recycling impacts on income distribution in China," Palgrave Communications, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 11(1), pages 1-12, December.
    4. Xing, Xiaoyun & Chen, Ying & Wang, Xiuya & Li, Boyao & Deng, Jing, 2023. "The impact of national carbon market establishment on risk transmission among carbon and energy markets in China: A systemic importance analysis," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 57(C).
    5. Xing, Xiaoyun & Guo, Kun & Zhang, Dayong & Ji, Qiang, 2024. "On the interactive effects of climate policies: Insights from a stock-flow consistent model," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 358(C).
    6. Xu, Chunguang & Li, Xiaohui, 2023. "Achieving common prosperity and green development through utilizing natural resources," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 85(PB).

    More about this item


    Community/Rural/Urban Development; Environmental Economics and Policy; International Development;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • Q53 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Air Pollution; Water Pollution; Noise; Hazardous Waste; Solid Waste; Recycling
    • Q55 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Technological Innovation
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • P28 - Political Economy and Comparative Economic Systems - - Socialist and Transition Economies - - - Natural Resources; Environment
    • R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies

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