Carbon emissions trading launched in China at pilot sites in July 2013 for major emitters of greenhouse gases (GHGs). Organizations should prepare for a national emissions trading system that could start as early as 2015.

China has committed to reduce carbon intensity (per-unit gross domestic product carbon emissions) in 2020 by 40% to 45% compared to 2005 levels. To approach these goals, the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) created seven (7) regional pilot carbon emissions trading schemes (ETS) in 2011. The regions are:
  1. Beijing
  2. Tianjin
  3. Shanghai
  4. Chongqing
  5. Hubei
  6. Guangdong
  7. Shenzhen
As of May 2013, most pilot ETS had released detailed implementation plans, and Shanghai, Guangdong, and Shenzhen had published lists of companies that are required to participate in the ETS.

This was potentially one of the top environmental stories of 2013. (We'll see what comes of it, but a strong story!) In looking back at the year, if you hadn't heard, you need to know about this one. For more information, try EHS Journal or ABC news pieces on the subject.