Building MRV for a successful emissions trading system in China

Building MRV for a successful emissions trading system in China / Xin Wang. IDDRI, déc. 2011, 14 p. (Idées pour le débat, working paper ; 16)

Points clés (source et copyright © IDDRI) :

The move to market-based instruments
China plans to progressively implement a greenhouse gas emissions trading system (ETS) during the period of the 12th Five Year Plan (FYP, 2011-2015). The objective to introduce carbon markets fits in China’s general economic policy orientation. Indeed, China aims at relying less on command-and-control mechanisms, and using more flexible economic instruments.

The need for MRV
Carbon markets, if designed and implemented properly, can be a very efficient tool to reduce emissions and can account for incentives for a lowcarbon growth in China. Generally speaking, they are more cost-efficient than command-and-control. However, the Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) requirements are often higher, and in any case different. The implementation of a robust MRV system must come prior to the establishment of a ETS. But the accuracy of the MRV system will progressively evolve during the course of implementation, and must be balanced with costs.

Building on european experience
The ETS shows that the MRV system must be based on precise guidelines and very detailed instructions in order to ensure a smooth functioning. The measurement system should include all the GHGs traded as emission permits. Each country should provide a report covering annual emissions for a calendar year in a reporting period. And verification, through strategic and risk analysis, should address the reliability, credibility and accuracy of monitoring systems as well as reported data and information relating to emissions.

Reinforcing chinese capacities
China has improved its general statistical performance in recent years, which will no doubt facilitate the establishment of a MRV system. In particular, energy audits have been introduced through different policies or (pilot) programmes over the last 10 years. They provide a solid framework, and a good basis for the rapid implementation of pilot ETS in China. However, improvements are necessary, to move from energy to carbon accounting, and to strengthen reporting and verification.

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