On 27 October 2016, the Chinese State Council published the “13th Five-Year Work Plan for Greenhouse Gas Emission Control” (Chinese) that outlines climate and energy related measures and targets between 2016-2020. It is based on the 13th Five-Year Plan that was published in March this year and is the central policy planning document of the Chinese government, guiding its economic and social development. One of the main targets is to reduce CO2 emission intensity per unit of Gross Domestic Product to 18% by 2020 in order to peak CO2 emissions around 2030. This is also in line with one of China’s core INDC commitments under the Paris Agreement (Chinese). The work plan also includes binding provincial level targets.

Key priorities for China’s national ETS, which is set to start in 2017, were also reaffirmed in the work plan, including the finalization of the ETS legislation. Currently, ETSs only exist in seven provinces and cities across China. In the work plan, these pilot regions are given more ambitious overall reduction targets of 20.5% (Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, and Guangdong) and 19.5% (Hubei and Chongqing) compared to some other regions, which are given targets that range from 12-18%.