By  Zhang Shouzhi  Hu Ke  and Xu Beibei  King&WoodMallesons’ Dispute Resolution Group

Being the world’s largest developing country and largest emitter of greenhouse gases, China started in 2009 an ambitious campaign, largely on its own initiative, to reduce its carbon intensity (measured by emission per unit of GDP) by 40-45% in 2020 from 2005 levels. The 12th National Five-year Plan set two mandatory goals of reducing energy intensity by 16% and reducing carbon intensity by 17% in the term of 2011-2015. The Chinese government is taking measures to further adjust the industrial structure, to optimize energy structure, to improve energy efficiency, and to control energy consumption and greenhouse gas emission.

On 29 October 2011, the National Development and Reform Commission (the “NDRC”) issued the Notice of the General Office of the National Development and Reform Commission on the Pilot Trading of Carbon Emission Rights, according to which that Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing, Hubei, Guangdong and Shenzhen would start pilot carbon emissions trading. From 2013 to 2014, the pilot provinces and cities (the “Pilot Regions”) have respectively developed carbon emissions trading schemes, set out management and trading rules, and launched the carbon emission trading systems; moreover, in July 2014 Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Guangdong and Shenzhen completed the first compliance audit after regulated emitters surrendered their allowances.
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