China's carbon trading saw transaction values hit over 6 billion yuan (about 860 million U.S. dollars) since June 2013, with traded emission quotas exceeding 270 million tonnes, China's environment watchdog said Monday.
"Carbon emission declined both in intensity and amount in the pilot carbon trading areas," Li Gao, a senior official of the Ministry of Ecology and Environment, told a press conference.
"The carbon market has fulfilled its role in controlling greenhouse gas emissions and promoting low-carbon development," Gao added.
The National Development and Reform Commission launched a nationwide carbon emissions trading system in the power generation industry in December 2017.
Gao said China will advance the construction of carbon trading market step by step and gradually expand industries, trading entities and categories that participate in the carbon market.
The carbon emissions trading system was initiated in 2011 and includes power generation, iron and steel production and cement manufacturing sectors in seven provinces and municipalities.
Under the scheme, enterprises are assigned emissions quotas, and those producing more than their share of emissions are allowed to buy unused quotas on the market from those that cause less pollution.
According to China's commitment to the Paris Agreement, it will have to cut carbon emissions per unit of GDP by 60 to 65 percent by 2030 from the 2005 level.
By the end of 2017, China had cut carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 46 percent from the 2005 level, fulfilling its commitment to reduce CO2 emissions by 40 to 45 percent from the 2005 level by 2020.