1 October 2012 — Climate Change and Energy Efficiency Parliamentary Secretary Mark Dreyfus has met with China’s National Development and Reform Commission vice chairman Xie Zhenhua to discuss action on climate change.

The pair is in New York for the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate, a US-led coalition of 17 of the world’s top economies to drive international action on climate change.

Mr Dreyfus said China had been making steady progress in developing its pilot emissions trading schemes.

Last year China announced it would establish pilot carbon trading schemes in seven key cities and provinces: the cities of Beijing, Chongqing, Shanghai, Shenzhen Tianjin, and the provinces of Guangdong and Hubei.

“Taken together, China’s emissions trading pilots are establishing a price on carbon pollution covering around one-third of China’s GDP, and one-fifth of its population and energy use,” Mr Dreyfus said.

“China will draw on the experience of the pilots to build a nationwide carbon market between 2015 and 2020.”

Mr Dreyfus said Beijing, Shanghai, Guangdong and Hubei had all released draft plans that outlined the design and implementation pathway for their pilot schemes. Together these will cover carbon pollution from around 2000 businesses – six times as many businesses as covered by Australia’s carbon price.

“Guangdong province has a population of over 100 million people and an economy around the same size as Indonesia’s,” he said.

“Its draft plan, which was released two weeks ago, includes over 800 companies, covering 60 per cent of Guangdong’s industrial power consumption.

“Introducing emissions trading is a complex task. China is keen to learn from the experience of others who have or are currently implementing emissions trading, such as Australia.”