China clears 21 projects for carbon offset market

Published 08:21 on November 20, 2015  /  Last updated at 08:21 on November 20, 2015  /  China, China's Offset Market  /  No Comments

China on Friday released a list of 21 new projects that have been approved to generate offsets for the domestic carbon market, including 13 Category 1 programmes expected to generate nearly 1.4 million CCERs annually.

China on Friday released a list of 21 new projects that have been approved to generate offsets for the domestic carbon market, including 13 Category 1 programmes expected to generate nearly 1.4 million CCERs annually.

The latest batch of approvals, made on Nov. 4 but published on a government website on Friday, takes the total number of approved projects to 285.

More than half the new projects were Category 1, the only type allowed in China’s seven pilot market schemes, where emitters are eager to buy offsets to lower their compliance costs or use for speculative trading.

Three of the new projects were Category 2 – projects that have been given a CDM Letter of Approval by the Chinese government but never registered with the UN – including a hydro project on the Dadu river in Sichuan province expected to cut emissions 1.16 million tonnes of CO2e per year.

Early approval rounds included almost exclusively Category 3 projects, so-called pre-CDM projects, but in Friday’s batch there were only five Category 3 schemes, with a combined capacity of earning 341,000 offsets each year.

The NDRC has not yet decided whether to approve Category 2 and 3 CCERs in the national ETS when it opens in 2017, but some observers have warned against it amid concerns that the market could be flooded with cheap offsets of limited environmental value.

By Stian Reklev – stian@carbon-pulse.com

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