In order to limit the rapid growth of greenhouse gas emissions, China has decided to implement seven pilot schemes for emissions trading, which are expected to start operating in 2013, with a view to implementing a national scheme in the future. To support this effort, the EU-China Exchange on Challenges and Best Practices in ETS brought together emissions trading experts from Europe and representatives from the different pilot schemes. Benjamin Görlach, Senior Fellow at the Ecologic Institute, gave a presentation and co-chaired a workshop on the design of emissions trading registries.
The second in a series of three workshops addressed emissions trading registries, a fundamental component of the technical infrastructure of any emissions trading scheme. Essentially, registries provide an electronic database that documents the ownership of allowances, and tracks the transfer of allowances between operators and across state boundaries. The design of registries includes issues such as how to ensure accessibility for users while guaranteeing security against fraud, whether (and how) to design the registries to be compatible with international trading systems, how to manage the interaction between trading platforms and the registry, and how to set up the physical (IT) infrastructure, the software and the user support for the registries. As part of setting up their emissions trading infrastructure, the Chinese ETS pilots are faced with these types of choices.