China on Friday said emitters due to be covered by the national carbon trading scheme must submit verified historical emissions data by June 30 as the government aims to finalise an allocation plan this year.
The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) said in a statement that companies in the sectors to be covered by the ETS that burned more than 10,000 standard tonnes of coal in any year between 2013-2015 must report their carbon emissions to the government.
Sector regulators must submit a list of the companies that meet these criteria to the NDRC by Feb. 29, and all the firms must supply verified emissions data for 2013-2015 by the end of June.
The companies affected by the order are thought to be those that will be brought into the national ETS from the start, though the NDRC document did not specifically say so.
The document said the NDRC will finalise a draft allocation plan designating how many CO2 allowances each company will receive under the scheme before the end of the year.
It did not mention which type of allocation methodology it will apply, although researchers contributing to the ETS have proposed a mix of benchmarking and grandfathering, which is market jargon for allocating based on historical emissions.
As China’s economy is slowing down and fossil fuel use is dropping, some observers have warned against the use of grandfathering as it might increase the chances of over-allocation, as currently seen in the country’s seven regional pilot markets.
A senior climate change official at the NDRC said last month he expected nearly 10,000 companies, accounting for around 4 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions each year, to join the ETS when it begins during the first half of 2017, making it by far the world’s biggest carbon market in terms of tonnes covered.
Getting credible emissions data is seen as one of the major obstacles for launching the national ETS as soon as next year, and has sparked some analysts to predict that the market might be delayed.
The NDRC this week launched a Q&A website on MRV to assist industries in reporting.
By Stian Reklev – firstname.lastname@example.org