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China plans July launch of national emissions trade scheme By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A coal-burning power plant can be seen behind a factory in China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, October 31, 2010. REUTERS/David Gray

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s long-awaited national carbon emissions trading scheme (ETS) will be formally launched very soon this month, the environment ministry said on Wednesday, without giving a date.

The scheme has been repeatedly delayed, partly over concerns about the transparency of emissions data, with a case exposed this month of data falsified by one power firm.

Preparation work was now “basically complete”, Zhao Yingmin, vice-minister for ecology and environment, told a news briefing.

“We will select a time to launch the national ETS and carry out the trading in July,” he added.

Although Zhao did not give an exact date for the first trade, sources expect a launch ceremony on Friday.

Carbon trading had been originally expected to begin before the end of June, though no reason has been given for the delay.

Zhao said emissions data accuracy was the top priority for the national carbon market. He added that the quality of the national ETS data was now generally in line with requirements, after years of data reporting and verification.

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