Years from now, the Paris climate conference may be seen as the point where ambitious long term global climate policy was finally enshrined in an international agreement, and where the world found a formula that enables consistent action. True, there is a massive gap between present policy ambition and the aspiration to keep warming to well below 2°.
The US and China have jointly announced their vision for the Paris climate talks and the steps they will take at home. But what took the headlines was China's announcement to introduce a national emissions trading scheme in 2017.
The announcement is no surprise. The Chinese government has been foreshadowing a national emissions trading scheme for years. But its inclusion in this high profile announcement means we can expect that it will in indeed be done.
China's long-anticipated formal pledge to international climate change negotiations, it's 'intended nationally determined contribution' or INDC, has arrived.
China's target is a 60% to 65% reduction in the emissions-intensity of the economy by 2030 pegged at 2005 levels, with carbon dioxide emissions peaking around 2030, perhaps earlier.