Climate Change Research


Evaluation of the carbon emission reduction effect of China’s pilot ETSs: analysis based on the data of energy-intensive industrial sub-sectors by province

ZHANG Hai-Jun1, 2, DUAN Mao-Sheng1   

  1. 1 Institute of Energy, Environment and Economy, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China;
    2 China Institute of Nuclear Industry Strategy, Beijing 100048, China
  • Received:2020-10-19 Revised:2020-12-27 Online:2021-09-09 Published:2021-09-09

Abstract: Existing studies evaluating the carbon emission reduction effect of China's pilot emissions trading schemes (ETSs) suffer a common problem that the sample selection range of the treatment group is obviously larger than the actual coverage of pilot ETSs. Stricter criteria have been applied in identifying the research samples in this study: within the six energy-intensive industrial sub-sectors in China's provinces from 2005 to 2017, only those in which the volume of ETS-covered enterprises accounts for 60% or more of the sub-sectors' total are regarded as the treatment group, and all industrial sub-sectors in non-pilot provinces the control group. Based on the difference-in-difference method, it is found that compared to the control group, China's pilot ETSs have reduced not only the carbon emissions of the sub-sectors in the treatment group, but also their carbon intensities, demonstrating the mitigation effectiveness of China's pilot ETSs. The gross output value and per capita output value of the industrial sub-sectors show to some extent a Kuznets curve effect with carbon emissions and carbon intensity, respectively; higher degree of asset liquidity and the profitability and tighter of environmental regulations is conducive to carbon emission reductions. It is thus essential that more sectors other than the power generation will be covered by China's national ETS as soon as possible. In addition, more efforts should be made to disclose system design and operation data for the purpose of assessing the scheme performance more effectively and in a more transparently manner.

Key words: Emissions trading schemes, Carbon emission reduction effect, Difference-in-difference, Industrial sub-sectors

Copyright © Climate Change Research, All Rights Reserved.
Tel: (010)58995171 E-mail:
Powered by Beijing Magtech Co. Ltd