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China to launch cap-and-trade carbon cutting scheme in 2017

China will launch a national scheme to cut carbon emission in 2017, according to New York Times sources28 Sep 2015

Chinese president Xi Jinping is expected to make an announcement today during his summit meeting with US president Barack Obama at the White House.

A cap and trade scheme will be used to put a price on, and thereby limit, greenhouse gas emissions, Obama administration officials told the New York Times.  

The announcement comes less than three months before the COP21 Climate Change Conference in Paris in December 2015, where 200 countries are expected to sign a global climate pact with the aim of keeping the global rise in temperature under 2%.

The agreement has been under development since April, and builds on a emissions-reduction targets set by Xi and Obama in Beijing last year, the sources told the newspaper.

The scheme will cover power generation, iron and steel, chemicals, building materials including cement, paper-making and nonferrous metals, White House officials said during a conference call, the Guardian reported.

The announcement will be useful in countering arguments that the US is making climate change improvements while other countries refuse to do so, the officials said, according to the Guardian.

The US and China will also make commitments on cutting carbon over the course of this century, campaign groups with knowledge of the discussions told the Guardian.

G7 leaders agreed in June to adopt national low-carbon strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2%. 

Obama, along with UK prime minister David Cameron, German chancellor Angela Merkel and the heads of France, Japan, Canada and Italy called for the 'decarbonisation' of the world economy by 2050.

The G7 leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the Copenhagen Accord, which involves investing $100 billion a year by 2020 in "meaningful mitigation actions", and to the elimination of inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.