Designing the Regulatory Framework of an Emissions Trading Programme in China: Lessons from Tianjin

The goal of this article is to examine the underlying considerations of designing and establishing the regulatory framework of an emissions trading program in China after the National Development and Reform Commission initiated the emissions trading pilots in seven provinces and cities in 2011. The article provides the policy development context and discusses the findings through empirical work on the design features of an emissions trading program in Tianjin. The underlying considerations and constraints are analyzed as followed to set the basis for further research into the regulatory design of an emissions trading program in China.

The 12th Five-Year Guideline of the PRC, which was announced in 2011, indicates the rising concern of central leadership in using market-based instruments to address greenhouse gas emissions (mainly CO2). So far there has been dramatic development in the Chinese climate policy and law regime, outlining the pathway to establishing a national emissions trading market through regional experimentations. This recent development in Chinese climate mitigation has opened the stage to using marketbased instruments, inter alia emissions trading, in the policy mix to contribute to the overall effort of energy conservation and emissions reduction. The development has also allowed for more empirical research into the emerging market to find evidence underlying the regulations on paper for further analysis to improve and refine the regulatory framework.
As the Tianjin programme is in a trial period, and because of the volatile climate policy related to emissions trading at both central and local levels, evidence leading to an understanding of the design features of the regulatory framework is constantly unfolding. The article has therefore drawn to a large extent on empirical findings from the Tianjin energy efficiency trading market. The case of Tianjin offers a unique opportunity to comparatively examine the components of the overarching regulation and the underlying considerations of the design features of the program. In order to do so, the article is structured to provide the context of policy status quo and development in the emissions trading sphere at both central and local levels in Part Two. The policy context shows how the idea of emissions trading has been incorporated into the national guideline and implemented through regional experimentation. It also draws attention to the local policy initiative at the Municipal City of Tianjin against which the energy efficiency trading market is established. Following this context discussion, the underlying considerations and constraints are discussed in Part Three to provide more detailed analysis on the design features of the emissions trading program in Tianjin. Part Four concludes the paper with some key issues that have been identified throughout the qualitative study.

Copyright: © Lexxion Verlagsgesellschaft mbH
Quelle: Issue 4/2012 (Dezember 2012)
Seiten: 13
Preis inkl. MwSt.: € 41,65
Autor: Hao Zhang

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