Seven provinces and cities in China are to set caps on their greenhouse gas emissions, following a directive from central government. It’s the first time the Chinese government has called for any absolute caps on emissions, having so far preferred softer “carbon intensity” targets.
The move is a first step towards establishing carbon trading markets in China and further evidence of the country’s commitment to tackling climate change, says Felix Preston of Chatham House, a foreign-policy think tank based in London.
On January 13th, China’s National Development and Reform Commission asked the cities of Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing and Shenzhen, and the provinces of Hubei and Guangdong, to set “overall emissions control targets”.
The government hinted this move was coming last August, when it released a policy paper arguing that absolute caps were the only way to establish a working carbon market.