S&D members on a delegation to Beijing have welcomed significant steps forward on fighting climate change in China but urged for faster progress. China is currently implementing a national emissions trading scheme, following successful pilots in seven Chinese cities and provinces. The scheme has been largely modelled on the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS), which has successfully put a price on carbon in Europe.

The European Parliament delegation has met with key Chinese ministries and stakeholders.

“We welcome the commitment of our Chinese partners to implementing a national emissions trading scheme. With President Trump’s decision to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement, it is more vital than ever that the EU and China work closely together to fight climate change,” said S&D MEP Jo Leinen, who chairs the European Parliament delegation to China.

“The EU and China are jointly responsible for around 40% of the world’s emissions, and without this cooperation and leadership we will never reach our obligations under the Paris Agreement. It is also very encouraging to see Chinese industrial sectors will be placed under similar climate obligations as manufacturers based in Europe,” he added.

“This commitment by China represents a real success for EU climate change policy. The EU emissions trading scheme was the first in the world and now we see that China is taking it up. While we are concerned that progress is slower than expected, we hope that the results of the regional pilots can be scaled up and replicated across China. We want to reach a point where we are able to link up emissions trading schemes across the world and have a global price on carbon, because we can’t defeat climate change in one country alone,” said S&D MEP Seb Dance, who is also a member of the Environment committee’s delegation to China.