CCER or Green Certificates Who Should Possess the Environmental Attributes

Author: Di Chen Sep 28, 2023 12:36 PM (GMT+8)

The first batch of methodologies for China's Certified Carbon Emission Reductions (CCER) program is expected to be released soon. These methodologies will cover four areas, including afforestation carbon sequestration, mangrove vegetation restoration, grid-connected solar-thermal power generation, and offshore wind power.


The credibility of green attributes is a common topic in the development of global emission reduction projects and the design of emission trading markets. Currently, there are varying regulations on the environmental attributes of renewable energy electricity in policy documents proposed or issued by several government departments. On July 7, 2023, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment released the "Management Measures for Voluntary Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Trading (Draft for Solicitation of Comments)." According to this draft, the scope of CCER projects is expected to include "renewable energy."

On August 3, 2023, three government departments, including the National Development and Reform Commission, the Ministry of Finance, and the National Energy Administration, issued the "Notice on Promoting the Full Coverage of Green Power Certificates for Renewable Energy to Promote Renewable Energy Power Consumption" (No. 1044). This notice explicitly stated that "the green certificate is the sole proof of the environmental attributes of China's renewable energy electricity, and it is the only certificate for the recognition of the production and consumption of renewable energy electricity." It expanded the scope of green certificates to cover almost all categories of renewable energy projects.

On September 15, 2023, the Ministry of Ecology and Environment announced the principle approval of the "Management Measures for Voluntary Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Trading (Trial)," but it has not been formally promulgated yet. If the clause regarding the "project scope" mentioned in the draft for solicitation of comments is implemented, the environmental attributes of renewable energy electricity will have dual attribution: CCER and green power certificates (referred to as green certificates).

Solar thermal power and offshore wind power, as the first batch of proposed CCER methodologies, will face challenges. The inclusion of these four areas in CCER project methodologies means that projects in these areas that meet the criteria can be designed and approved as voluntary greenhouse gas reduction projects in accordance with the methodology requirements. They can also calculate and verify the emission reductions of voluntary greenhouse gas reduction projects, making them eligible for CCER trading. Consequently, the question of whether the environmental attributes of renewable energy project electricity production will belong to green certificates or CCER remains a significant concern in the industry. It is worth noting that biomass energy projects were not approved in this round of CCER methodology selection due to disputes.