Chinese officials play down rumours of 2015 cut-off date for offsets, but urge caution

Published 11:55 on April 19, 2016  /  Last updated at 13:16 on April 19, 2016  /  China, China's National ETS, China's Offset Market  /  No Comments

Chinese government officials on Tuesday said rules for offset use in the national emissions trading scheme have yet to be finalised, dismissing rumours that only CCERs from 2015 or later would be allowed, local media reported.

Chinese government officials on Tuesday said rules for offset use in the national emissions trading scheme have yet to be finalised, dismissing rumours that only CCERs from 2015 or later would be allowed, local media reported.

Emitters in the national market will be allowed to use offsets, known as CCERs, to meet an as yet undecided share of their compliance requirements.

Earlier this month, rumours circulated in the market that pre-2015 CCERs would be ineligible, a move that would potentially deem worthless millions of offsets already issued or about to be issued for earlier emission cuts.

But Jiang Zhaoli, director of the NDRC’s climate change division, on Tuesday told the 21st Century Business Herald that the rules had not yet been finalised.

“Please wait for the final result,” Jiang said.

The rumours had prompted negative comments from some project developers who had mostly assumed the offset limitations in the national market would be similar to the pilot schemes, which allow CCERs from 2013 onwards.

Another NDRC official, Wang Shu, told a workshop in Beijing last week that experts are still discussing whether to use 2013, 2014 or 2015 as a cut-off date for offset generation, the 21st Century Business Herald reported.

“I personally think that for earlier projects the risk is relatively large,” Wang said, urging developers and buyers alike to diversify their portfolios.

He added that the NDRC is looking to streamline the CCER approval process while reducing the number of project types eligible to earn offsets for the Chinese market.

Meanwhile, a vice director with the National Climate Change Strategy Research and International Cooperation Centre (NCSC), an NDRC-led think-tank, dismissed a rumour that his organisation is about to take over the responsibility for CCER issuance from the NDRC.

By Stian Reklev – stian@carbon-pulse.com

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