BEIJING, June 10 (Xinhua) -- China is the world's second largest carbon trading market following the European Union (EU), according to data released on Tuesday.
Xie Zhenhua, deputy head of the National Development and Reform Commission, said Chinese enterprises traded over 3.85 million tonnes of carbon emission quotas as of May 23.
These quotas were sold for 125 million yuan (20.2 million U.S. dollars), making China a major carbon trader only second to the EU.
China began pilot carbon trading in 2011 and has approved seven trading schemes in Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing, Shenzhen, Guangdong and Hubei.
Under the schemes, enterprises which produce more than their share of emissions are allowed to buy unused quotas on the market from those that cause less pollution.
Carbon trading is designed to encourage emission reduction and raise money to fund research on environmental protection.
Afflicted by serious pollution especially smog, China will control carbon emissions by cutting fossil fuel consumption, promoting the use of clean energy and establishing carbon trading markets.
In an action plan released last month, the country aims to cut carbon dioxide consumption per unit of economic output by 4 percent in 2014.