China Revises Rules for VCM Relaunch

China’s Ministry of Ecology and Environment (MEE) and State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) have issued revised rules for the country’s voluntary carbon credits scheme. The China Certified Emission Reductions (CCER) scheme was initially launched in 2012 but shelved five years later due to a lack of uptake, thin trading, regulatory and data quality issues, and a lack of standards in carbon audits. The relaunch of the CCER scheme will provide a voluntary mechanism for participants in the national carbon market to offset emissions. The national carbon market, launched in July 2021, currently requires participation from 2,162 power companies and is expected to be expanded to another seven industries, including steel and chemical production. Officials say the relaunch of the voluntary CCER scheme will encourage the development of emerging low-carbon industries and help participants in the national carbon market to reduce compliance costs. The new CCER rules third-party verifiers of credits will be subject to more scrutiny and face fines as high as CNY 100,000 (US$14,000) for data fraud. Officials have also published the methodologies that will be used to quantify net emission reductions or removals for four types of projects: forestation, solar thermal power, offshore wind power generation, and mangrove revegetation. 

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