III. Promoting Low-carbon Pilot Projects

The government continues to promote low-carbon pilot projects in selected provinces and cities, launch carbon emission trading pilot programs, and explore the experience of different regions and industries in implementing low-carbon development through projects that encourage low-carbon products, transport systems and towns.

(I) Continuing to Promote Low-carbon Pilot Projects in Provinces and Cities

The National Development and Reform Commission has approved low-carbon development plans for all provinces and cities that are designated as pilot areas. It has strengthened its guidance of pilot projects, improved its operational capabilities, and promoted the construction of a low carbon industrial system. Steady progress has been made in low-carbon pilot projects. All designated pilot provinces and cities have set up low-carbon leading groups and established mechanisms for decision-making consultation, basic research, pilot demonstration, and international exchange and cooperation. Every effort has been made to encourage innovative institutional mechanisms that are conducive to low-carbon development. A carbon intensity reduction index has been included in the comprehensive evaluation of regional economic and social development and the cadre performance appraisal system. Currently, the pilot provinces and cities have completed the objectives of the start-up phase, and have begun carrying out comprehensive pilot work.

(II) Initiating Pilot Programs for Carbon Emissions Trading

Establishing a voluntary emission trading system. In June, 2012, the National Development and Reform Commission issued the Interim Regulation of Voluntary Greenhouse Gas Emission Trading. The document sets out the basic management framework, trading procedures and supervisory measures of the voluntary trading, establishes a registration and recording system and an information disclosure system, and encourages project-based voluntary greenhouse gas emissions trading, so as to ensure trading takes place in an orderly fashion.

Conducting carbon emission trading pilot programs. In 2011, the National Development and Reform Commission initiated pilot programs for carbon emissions trading in Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing, Hubei, Guangdong and Shenzhen. The designated areas strengthened organization and leadership, established professional teams and earmarked funds for the pilot programs. They organized the compiling of an implementation plan for the carbon emission trading pilot program, defining the overall concept, objectives, key tasks, safeguards and project schedules. They studied and formulated regulations for the carbon emission trading pilot program and worked out the basic rules for the program. They have calculated and defined overall caps for greenhouse gas emissions in their regions, and formulated plans for distributing specific emissions targets. To develop a support system for the pilot programs, regulatory as well as registration and recording systems have been established and trading platforms have been developed in each pilot area. Beijing, Shanghai and Guangdong launched their pilot programs on March 28, August 16, and September 11, 2012, respectively.

(III). Carrying out Low-carbon Pilot Programs in Relevant Areas

Studying and starting trials of low-carbon industry park, communities and commerce. The National Development and Reform Commission organized studies to establish an evaluation index and support policies for low-carbon industrial experimental zones, communities and commerce, in order to define low-carbon development modes and policies suited to China's actual conditions.

Beginning trials of low-carbon products. The National Development and Reform Commission has organized research into methods of calculating product carbon emissions, established standards and identification and certification systems for low-carbon products. It has also published the Interim Procedures for the Low-carbon Product Certification Management as a guide to creating low-carbon consumption patterns.

Selecting cities to pilot low-carbon transport systems. In 2011, the Ministry of Transport initiated pilot projects for the construction of low-carbon transport systems, with an emphasis on road and river transport and urban passenger transport. Ten cities - Tianjin, Chongqing, Shenzhen, Xiamen, Hangzhou, Nanchang, Guiyang, Baoding, Wuxi and Wuhan - were selected to carry out the initial trials. A further 16 cities - Beijing, Kunming, Xi'an, Ningbo, Guangzhou, Shenyang, Harbin, Huai'an, Yantai, Haikou, Chengdu, Qingdao, Zhuzhou, Bengbu, Shiyan and Jiyuan - were named the second batch of pilot cities in February, 2012. The trial cities have accelerated the construction of low-carbon transport systems by constructing low-carbon transport infrastructure, employing low-carbon vehicles, optimizing transport planning and operating methods, creating intelligent traffic projects, improving public transport information services, and establishing and improving carbon emissions management systems.

Carrying out green and low-carbon pilot and demonstration projects in key small towns. In 2011, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development and the National Development and Reform Commission jointly launched the green and low-carbon pilot and demonstration project for key small towns. Seven small towns were selected to take part in the project - Gubeikou Town in Miyun County, Beijing; Daqiuzhuang Town in Jinghai County, Tianjin; Haiyu Town in Changshu, Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province; Sanhe Town, in Feixi County, Hefei City, Anhui Province; Guankou Town in Jimei District, Xiamen City, Fujian Province; Xiqiao Town, in Nanhai District, Foshan City, Guangdong Province; and Mudong Town in Banan District, Chongqing. Taking into account their level of social and economic development, geographical features, as well as resources and environment, the participating towns are systematically exploring suitable development models. General and specific plans have been formulated and improved to address issues such as effectively utilizing land and other resources, rationally allocating construction land, strengthening eco-environment development, improving the living environment, strengthening infrastructure, boosting public services, and guiding the orderly creation of population and industrial districts.

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