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China's 2017 Carbon Timetable May Be Hit by Slowing Economy

  • Energy-intensive companies lack incentive to trade carbon
  • Lack of carbon data and design experience may slow the process
Shanghai pollution.
Photographer: ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images

A slowing Chinese economy threatens to undermine the deadline outlined last week by President Xi Jinping to introduce a nationwide carbon market by 2017.

Companies ranging from coal-fired power plant operators to cement producers and oil and gas companies, faced with struggles to stay afloat, could be reluctant to participate in the cap-and-trade system the Chinese government has vowed to roll out on a national level, according to Tian Miao, an analyst at North Square Blue Oak Ltd., a London-based researcher.