China's national emissions trading system (ETS) is expected to be launched in the near term, creating the world's largest carbon market, the 21st Century Business Herald reported.
By the end of this year, there will be 19 carbon trading systems in operation worldwide covering nearly 7 billion tons of emissions, according to a report from the International Carbon Action Partnership (ICAP).
China has already launched seven pilot regional carbon trading markets since 2013 in Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Guangdong, Shenzhen, Hubei and Chongqing. They cover a range of heavy industrial sectors.
As of Dec 31, the cumulative trading volume in the seven pilot markets reached 160 million tons, worth nearly 2.5 billion yuan, according to a report by the China Beijing Environment Exchange and the Beijing Emission Trading Association.
China plans to expand the pilot program nationwide later this year.
Last year, authorities including the National Development and Reform Commission made preparations for the launch, including mobilization, quota allocation, and legislative preparation.
Experts are not expecting China's national carbon market to be perfect in the short term, saying it will take several years of growth before it delivers emission reductions.
Zhang Yong, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, China's top economic planner, previously said that the domestic carbon market is only in the early stages of development, and high expectations and more haste should be avoided.