Reports & Research

The 2015 China Carbon Pricing Survey

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At ICF, we understand that our clients face multi-faceted challenges in a changing world. So we provide best-in-class insights and expertise to help inform and advise decisions, policies, and solutions that make a real difference in the world.

The 2015 China Carbon Pricing Survey is one example, and the survey results are summarized in this report. The survey elicited expectations about the future of China’s carbon price from stakeholders in carbon markets in China between May and July 2015. The results of the survey give strong confidence that carbon price levels in China will rise over time, and that carbon pricing will increasingly affect investment decisions. Surprisingly, industry respondents expect higher carbon prices than non-industry respondents. China has announced that a national emissions trading scheme will be established by 2017. Many expect that it could take until 2020 or so before the national ETS is fully functional across mainland China.

The expectation is that in the coming years until 2025, China’s mix of policy instruments to control carbon emissions will markedly shift towards carbon trading, tax, and information disclosure. Although most respondents expect that a carbon tax will eventually be introduced, there is much uncertainty over its timing. There is strong confidence that China will meet its target to peak emissions by 2030. Many expect that the peak in emissions will be reached significantly earlier.