Chinese Geographical Science

, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 287–295 | Cite as

Developing China’s National Emission Trading Scheme: Experiences from Existing Global Schemes and China’s Pilot Programs

  • Bolun Ning
  • Yongguan Zhu
  • Zhihong Xu
  • Bojie Fu


Market-based emission trading schemes (ETSs) are widely used in the developed world to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions which are perceived as the source of global climate change. China, as the largest GHG emitter in the world, is committed to introducing an ETS to reduce emissions. Here we reviewed existing ETSs and sustainable energy policies worldwide as well as China’s pilot programs. These studies were conducted in order to propose recommendations for national initiatives and strategies to be implemented in China in relation to climate change adaptation and mitigation. It has been shown that setting emission caps in the context of a national emission intensity target is difficult. However, implementing reliable systems for measurement, reporting, and verification of emissions are essential. A two-level management system (by central and provincial governments) for carbon trading is beneficial to ensure uniform standards and compliance while maintaining flexibility. Persistent political support from, and effective coordination of, policies by the government are crucial. In addition, strengthening of institutional innovation, and the establishment of a national GHG emissions information system, are of equal importance. This vital information could provide a great opportunity for China to re-define its economic growth and take global leadership in combatting climate change.


carbon dioxide (CO2greenhouse gas emissions climate change energy policy pilot program 


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Northeast Institute of Geography and Agricultural Ecology, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bolun Ning
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Yongguan Zhu
    • 4
    • 5
  • Zhihong Xu
    • 3
  • Bojie Fu
    • 4
  1. 1.College of Natural Resources and EnvironmentUniversity of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Bureau of International CooperationChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.School of Bio-molecular and Physical SciencesGriffith UniversityNathanAustralia
  4. 4.State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Centre for Eco-Environmental SciencesChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  5. 5.Institute of Urban EnvironmentChinese Academy of SciencesXiamenChina

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