Carbon price tops CNY 100

China’s carbon price has topped CNY 100 (USD 13.80) for the first time. 

In July 2021, during the first month of the national carbon market, the price averaged about CNY 50 (USD 6.90). Back then some market analysts predicted that the price would approach CNY 100 only in 2030.

The landmark was in fact reached on 24 April, just prior to the 1 May implementation of a new framework of regulations to standardise China’s emissions trading systems.

The anticipation of these stricter regulations has prompted major emitters to increase their purchases of emissions allowances, driving up the carbon price, reported Bloomberg

This trend has been further fuelled by the relaunch in January of China’s national voluntary carbon market.

Additionally, guidance on emission accounting for the aluminium and concrete industry, issued in March by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, has intensified  carbon market activity, noted Qi Rui from China University of Geosciences, in PetroChina News Centre.

China’s carbon price is still rising, Caixin reports, but despite the recent surge the price remains much lower than in many other countries. In the EU, it currently stands at about USD 71.50.

The difference can be attributed both to the comparatively relaxed emissions regulations for Chinese companies, and broader government policies, as Professor Liang Xi from University College London recently emphasised.

Liang highlighted that the carbon price also reflects the efficacy of other policy instruments, such as renewable energy subsidies. When effective, these reduce the burden on the carbon market to mitigate emissions.

Read Dialogue Earth’s earlier report on how China’s carbon market can contribute to emission reductions.