China will gradually set up a mechanism for limiting its overall carbon emissions and accelerate development of a national carbon market, according to the country's chief climate change negotiator.
The country cut carbon dioxide emissions per unit of GDP by 28.56 per cent last year compared with 2005, said Xie Zhenhua, vice-minister of the National Development and Reform Commission.
This is equivalent to a reduction of 2.5 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, thanks to the nation's efforts in promoting energy efficiency and optimizing the energy mix, Xie said on Saturday at the two-day China Low-Carbon Development Strategy Conference in Beijing.
"The nation will strengthen management and evaluation of carbon emissions and study how to establish a system for capping total emissions," Xie said.
It will gradually see dual control of carbon intensity and total emissions and will accelerate the establishment of a national carbon market, he added.
"Low-carbon development is not only an international obligation for addressing climate change, but also an inner demand to achieve China's own sustainable development," Xie said.
In 2012, the commission and the Ministry of Finance initiated a research programme to explore China's low-carbon development strategies.
More than 300 experts from 38 think tanks and research institutes have carried out research to explore routes for China's low-carbon development over the next 35 years.
Li Wei, head of the State Council's Development Research Center, said China's economy is at a critical stage, with its structure being adjusted because of slower growth and with previous stimulus policies being assessed.
"For the coming years to 2020, a growth rate at around 7 per cent would be very possible," Li said.