China’s carbon market trading hits 194m tonnes in one year, becoming world’s largest


The trading volume of China’s national carbon market hit 194 million tonnes, with a cumulative turnover of 8.49 billion yuan (US$1.26 billion), since its launch on July 16, 2021, the data released by Shanghai Environmental and Energy Exchange showed. 

China’s national carbon market has now become the largest carbon spot market in the world.

China aims to peak CO2 emissions by 2030 and fulfill the goal of carbon neutrality by 2060. As one of the policies to achieve the climate target, China’s carbon market has run smoothly over the past year, with the trading prices slightly increased. The carbon price opened at 48 yuan (US$7.1) per ton on the first trading day and is around 60 yuan (US$8.9) per ton recently.

There were 2,162 power-generating companies in the market in the first year, covering a total emission of about 4.5 billion tonnes. 

According to the plan of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, from 2021 to 2025, about 8,500 companies from eight emission-intensive industries will be covered in the national carbon market, including power generation, iron and steel, construction materials, non-ferrous metals, petrochemicals, chemicals, paper manufacturing, and aviation. 

Director of the Beijing-based Institute of Public and Environmental Affairs, Ma Jun, pointed out that trading in the carbon market can help companies optimize the calculation of their carbon emissions, which is important for further reduction of greenhouse gases.

However, Ma also mentioned a few problems that the Chinese carbon market is facing. For instance, the trading activities were not active enough and there were some data quality problems. Meanwhile, he noted that the related laws and regulations need to be improved. The state council has already included interim regulations of carbon market trading on the legislative plan list.

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