|| As the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter, China plays a crucial role in global climate action. In 2016, China ratified the Paris Agreement and pledged with its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to achieve a peaking of its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions before 2030, to cut its CO2 emission per unit of GDP by 60-65% from the level of 2005 by 2030, and to increase the share of non-fossil fuels in primary energy consumption to around 20% by 2030.
To this end, China has called for a synergistic approach to concurrently tackle climate change and domestic environmental problems. As part of this approach, Chinese policy-makers have started to develop market-based measures (MBMs) and, in particular, carbon emission trading systems (ETS). Indeed, in 2011, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) of China approved seven regional ETS pilot projects in Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Chongqing, Guangdong province, Hubei
province and ShenZhen, and the projects were launched between 2013 and 2014. Based on the experience from these pilot projects, China later announced its plans for the full-fledged nationwide implementation of an ETS starting in late 2017.
China’s national ETS will have significant implications for both Chinese and global stakeholders. The European Commission and China's Ministry of Ecology and Environment already held the first policy dialogue on emissions trading in Beijing in April 2018, within the framework of an ongoing bilateral cooperation project that will run until September 2020. The project aims at promoting mutual understanding between the EU and China, and supporting the implementation and development of China’s ETS. Here, the European experience with MBMs and potential linkages between the Chinese ETS and the EU ETS, currently still the world's largest carbon market, are relevant.
This CCLR special issue aims to contribute to the literature on, and the development of, the emerging national Chinese ETS by providing a comprehensive analysis of relevant law and policy issues. In particular, articles in this special issue should delve into legal frameworks and regulatory principles for operationalizing different aspects of the Chinese ETS, explore the role and situation of the ETS in the broader Chinese legal system, and identify law and policy challenges as well as opportunities for their solution. Among other issues, these include questions related to enhancing carbon market infrastructure and institutional design in China, refining Chinese ETS laws and regulations, fostering coherence with other Chinese policies and laws, and defining the relationship of the Chinese ETS with other environmental markets in China and abroad.