Initially, the China ETS was intended to be started by 2017, encompassing eight major industries, such as electricity and iron & steel. As the result, the actual start-up only included the power generation sector, with a four-year delay. The delay was attributed to the reasons like low-quality emission data submitted by relevant companies and slow development of emission allowance allocation methodology.
The initial targets are the 2,162 businesses that emitted greenhouse gas (CO2) of more than 26,000 t-CO2 equivalents (CO2e) during any one year between 2013 and 2019. These include power generation and heat supply companies, and the companies from other industries with self-owned power generation facilities (i.e., pharmaceuticals, petrochemistry, chemical fiber, metal, food, paper making, etc.). The total amount of emissions by the companies under the national ETS is around 4.5 billion tons, about 40% of China’s total CO2 emission.